In the province of Ontario, an individual living on social assistance receives 592$/month. This sum must cover the cost of food, rent, transportation and all other living expenses. Earlier this month, 20 McMaster medical students did the math and concluded that this amount is not enough to live with health and dignity. To demonstrate the inadequacy of social assistance in Ontario, and to demand an immediate 100$ increase in social assistance as a first step toward adequate income, they relied on a food bank diet for 5 days. Their experiences are documented here. Across the province of Ontario, 1000 people have undertaken this challenge as part of the Put Food in the Budget Campaign. Recently the provincial government announced an 18 month review of social assistance rates in Ontario, a move which has been met with much criticism. On the December 13th episode of Health Justice Radio, we speak with medical students Denali Kerr and Roselyn Wilson about their experiences during the challenge. Listen here.
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