It’s the final day of the welfare food challenge which saw hundreds of people across the province surviving on just $18 a week in a bid to shine a spotlight on BC’s welfare rates.
It’s the fifth annual challenge, with those taking part only eating what would be affordable on welfare rates, once basic needs like rent, hygiene, and transport are considered.
Lawyer DJ Larkin with the Pivot Legal society, says surviving on just $2.50 per day took its toll on her mentally and physically.
“I’m really tired and I’m hungry. I tried to stay active during the week as I normally would be and I found it impossible, my muscles were sore, my brain feels foggy it’s harder to get work done. And I’ve had to give up on so many social situations.”
Larkin, adds she’s relieved she has the choice to resume her regular diet tomorrow, when many others don’t.
“I’m really feeling the effects of it, I don’t feel well. It’s impossible to buy enough food, to buy healthy food, to get by on $18 a week. People are going hungry and people don’t have the nutrition they need on that amount of money.”
More than 600 people have taken part in the challenge since it first began five years ago.
B.C.’s welfare rates have been frozen at $610 per month for a single person for the past nine years.