The conservative mantra is hard and cold when it comes to government give-aways, even if the amount the US spends on food stamps and welfare is not a fraction of the real problem we face in cutting spending. They would have us believe the moochers are ruining this country. Not so, but the myth persists that the poor and unemployed are living lavishly, with free everything. It’s a good way to make the working man hate them, even if it is not true. So what is it really like to dine on government cheese and live on a poverty income?
This dietitian found out.
As a registered dietitian, Erica Kang knows what it takes to eat a healthy, balanced diet, but this week she didn’t consume nearly enough calories and was short many vitamins and nutrients.
Kang didn’t slack off her regular eating routine because she wanted a break nor was she on the latest diet craze, instead she took part in the Welfare Food Challenge to both raise awareness about low social assistance rates in B.C. as well as learn what’s it’s like to live on a food budget of just $26 a week.
“Even for somebody trained, with five years of schooling, I wasn’t able to manage what was an adequate diet for my needs,” Kang said after completing the challenge this week.
The $26 budget is derived from what the average welfare recipient has left to spend on food once other essentials like housing, transportation and communication costs are deducted from their monthly living allowance.