More than 170,000 people in BC struggle to make ends meet on welfare. Living wage campaign organizer Deanna Ogle, along with her partner Earyn Wheatley, explore the connections between the living wage, poverty, climate change, food security and welfare while participating in the 4th annual Welfare Food Challenge November 3 to 9, 2015. The two will only eat the food they can each buy with $21.
Both Deanna and Earyn have first-hand experiences with poverty. LGBTQ youth are more likely to experience poverty and precarious housing, and this was certainly true of their experiences as youth.
Earyn and Deanna are both active in social justice organizations. Deanna is the Campaign Organizer for the Living Wage for Families Campaign and Earyn is a Mobilization Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada.
Issues of climate change, food security and poverty are deeply connected although we don’t always think of those connections when talking about government policies or the price of groceries at the store. These are issues that Earyn and Deanna often talk about over meals and they are looking forward to inviting you into their conversation.
Biggest worries going into the challenge:
Deanna: I remember the monotony of food choices as a child growing up in a low-income household. I am not looking forward to eating the same food meal after meal. I am hoping to figure out a way to avoid eating macaroni on our budget.
Earyn: I dread the frustration of going to grocery stores knowing the majority of the food there is financially out of reach. Grocery stores are a big representation of the wealth gap in a commodity-driven capitalist economy. I know that it’s harder to make decisions and feel well when you have limited access to nutritious food. I am recovering from surgery so I know that the limited budget and lack of food choices within that budget will impact me.