Big thanks to our Britannia School Garden volunteers for helping to keep the gardens looking great. This past Saturday we pruned all our apple espalier trees and were treated to a few hidden apples not yet picked and possibly some of the best apples I have ever eaten. We also cleaned up the compost area, also pruned our raspberries, and did some weeding. The Britannia School Gardens are now quite extensive and include 5 garden areas that are spread around the Britannia site, including our potato boxes at the elementary school. Maintaining these gardens is more than we can manage working just with students, thus community volunteers are essential for this work. And as always, we welcome more volunteers. It’s great to connect with the earth and is also a fun social activity.
All fun was had at the 1st annual McSpadden Park County Fair this past Sept 11th with families and residents of all ages out for an all foods traditional county fair in East Vancouver. The Grandview Woodland Food Connection was there as well, sharing information about our food access programs. But the highlight of course, was the zucchini races and who could compete with the amazing collection of artful zucchinis and the excitement of the big race. All in all, a great event bringing the community together around our love for all things food.
Please join me and the Grandview Woodland Food Connection in participating in this year’s Welfare Food Challenge. The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is a supporter of the important work that Raise the Rates does in advocating for an increase in social assistance rates. Contact us if you would like to participate – email@example.com
Starting Oct 16th , we will eat on only $18 for one week, only what can be purchased with the money a welfare recipient receives. Together, we will document/journal/and publicize our experience.
The Challenge highlights the inadequacy of welfare rates in BC. A single person receives only $610 a month, frozen for over 9 years. Raise the Rates, with others, is working to raise public awareness of the extreme poverty of people on welfare; and how this poverty costs the people of BC in human suffering and billions of wasted dollars every year.
The Challenge will start on World Food Day, Sunday October 16, 2016 and run for a full 7 days. Due to the rising cost of rent, even for single room occupancy (SRO) in the Downtown Eastside, participants will be expected to live on only the food they can purchase with $18 dollars. This calculation is based on the expectation that welfare recipients will have to pay rent and damage deposit, cell phone (necessary to look for work and contact the welfare office) and personal hygiene. Buying bus tickets has been dropped, which is what many people on welfare often do, so that there is some money left for food. They either walk or hope for the goodwill of bus drivers – which is usually the case, but they do risk a $173 fine. Out of $610 there is very little money left for food.
The aim of the Challenge is raise public awareness about the poverty of people on welfare and the need for change. To help publicize the Challenge, we hope you will document and publicize your experiences. This could include:
- Writing blog posts for our website
- Posting directly to your own social media
- Attending a news conference and speaking to the media about your experiences of the challenge
- Sharing your experiences with your friends, family, community members, and policy makers
For more information about the Welfare Food Challenge visit: http://welfarefoodchallenge.org/.
Thank you for considering taking the Welfare Food Challenge. Your contribution to raising awareness and creating policy change is important. If you have any questions or would like to participate, please contact Bill Hopwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604 738-1653
|Rent (realistic rent for an SRO)*||$479|
|Room damage deposit||$20|
|No bus tickets – walk everywhere||$0|
|Cell phone (to look for work)||$25|
|Total of all non-food expenditures||$534|
|What’s left for food||$76|
No money for clothes, transit, a coffee, haircuts, or any social life or treats.
* Note on SRO rent:
SROs are the cheapest accommodation in Vancouver.
The City of Vancouver found that the average rent of an SRO is now $479 a month. This contrasts with the Provincial government’s shelter allowance portion of welfare of $375 a month.
After a rainy week, the sun shined through for another wonderful Corn Feista. As usual, lots of tasty Latin America food was available, along with music and dancing, which all made the event fun and lively.
The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is proud to help support this event and the Canada El Salvador Action Network in bringing together Spanish speaking and non-spanish speaking people in our shared love for corn, while also recognizing the profound importance of the food staple for the people’s of Latin America.
Join us Sunday, September 4th for the wonderful East Van Latin American Corn Festival celebrating all foods corn and the importance of protecting non GMO corn varieties, especially for the people’s of Latin America. The Grandview Woodland Food Connection is thrilled to be partnering with the Canada El Salvador Action Network (CELSAN) in hosting this fun family festival at Britannia Community Centre and which will be serving up great food from a variety of Latin American food vendors as well as latin American music and dance.
Wild Minds Rewilding Project – Day 10 (final). It has been a very positive project. Had the best attendance rate of any youth summer program that we have run, I believe all due to the beauty and diversity of the Cottonwood Community Garden and Strathcona Community Gardens which the youth definitely appreciated. It has also been great working with Environmental Youth Alliance and Evergreen BC. Had a slight change of pace last day, creating a first person story and puppet of a plant we connected with – a bit of earth theatre and alternative way of understanding our relation to the plants.