Raise the Rates Welfare Food Challenge – Day 2

It is very uncomfortable to go hungry. After one day, I am feeling lethargy seeping in.  I have hunger pangs and my stomach has been growling like a angry bear. I do not feel like doing much. I just wanted to stay in bed.

Started the morning with a cup of tea, a tablespoon of butter and equal amount of coconut milk to give me a bit of fat energy. It is about a quarter as much fat as I would normally eat, and is not enough to keep my energy levels up. Then I ate lentils and rice with a bit of broccoli and two eggs shown in the photo below. It may look like alot and yes it is as healthy as I can make it, but I only have enough food for one large meal a day and then a second much smaller portion to fend of the hunger pangs later in the evening. Two days in and I am counting down the days until I can turn to a normal healthy diet. This is my privilege


I feel I live a comfortable life. I don’t make a huge amount of money but I live simply. No car, no expensive travel, I live in a co-op and so on. But I do spend alot of money on food – good quality organic food. In part because I have health issues that are very much affected by diet. If I eat badly, I feel crappy. My food bill per month ranges from as low as $208 (rarely this low) to as high as $726 a month. Mostly it averages over $500/month, which means that I sometimes spend as much as a person on income assistance gets for all their expenses – $710 for rent, food, bus, phone, everything. And I do not think my diet is unreasonable. It is simply a healthy, nutritious diet that we all deserve. The problem is that food is getting very expensive, especially good food.

I was just talking to a friend yesterday who is on income assistance and waiting to get on disability. She has been near homeless, staying with friends, couch surfing for several months lately. Her last place lasted only two weeks at which time the upstairs tenant and manager of the house sexually assaulted her. No witnesses, no charges, so of course she left and was once again at the mercy of friends and looking for another place to rent. She finally found a shared apt last week, after much looking, for $750/month in Marpole, which she likes and has a good roommate. She told me that it was pretty much the cheapest place she could find, but since she is only getting $710 Income Assistance, she is very much dependent on the generosity of friends to give her extra money. But at the same time she actually feels lucky to have this apartment.

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