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Put Food In The Budget

Nutritious food is essential for good health. As part of our belief that fighting poverty is the best medicine money can buy, the 25in5 Network for Poverty Reduction, in partnership with the Association of Local Public Health Agencies (alPHa), is launching an Ontario-wide campaign for a Healthy Food Supplement.

We are calling for the immediate introduction of a $100 monthly supplement to the basic needs allowance for all adults receiving social assistance. The existence of widespread food insecurity and chronic illness related to poor nutrition is the result of our society’s collective negligence and a failure of public policy.

For the last ten years the Ontario Government has mandated the province’s 36 local health units to collect and report the annual cost of a Nutritious Food Basket in their areas. These reports consistently show a vast gap between the level of benefits received by people on social assistance and their ability to meet their basic food requirements along with other necessities of life.

There is no current formula for establishing social assistance benefit levels and the basic needs allowance is set far below actual market costs. We are pleased the government has created its Social Assistance Review to evaluate the true cost of living in communities across Ontario and we look forward to a new benchmark for income adequacy in setting benefit rates. This is a hopeful development. And hope matters.

In the meantime, it is critical to the health and wellbeing of social assistance recipients that the government takes a first step toward income adequacy by introducing a $100 per month Healthy Food Supplement. The Supplement will serve as a down payment in closing the monthly gap of food deficiency while reducing the negative health effects of poverty.

It will also stimulate spending in our local economies. As a recent Globe and Mail editorial says, the idea of putting money in the hands of low-income people who will spend it in their communities “is an idea with remarkably wide consensus…
In these times, putting money in the hands of those who need it is good policy.

Put food in the budget. Promote health and fight poverty.

If you are on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support Program, what difference would the $100 Healthy Food Supplement make to you each month? Write up to 100 words below in the comments box.

Comment from Ang

My name is Ang and I struggle to get by on the Ontario’s Disability Support Program. As a volunteer here at The Stop Community Food Centre and as someone who has lived in this neighbourhood for twenty years, I see so many of my friends and community struggle to make it through each and every day. I thought I would try to say one hundred words about the importance of a one hundred dollar healthy food supplement. I have a lot to say about this topic, so this is not an easy thing to do.


  • Healthy, good foods like milk, fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, are expensive and are luxury items that are out of reach for people on social assistance.
  • Because we cannot afford the good, vitamin-rich food we need, so many of us slide deep into depression.
  • In our neighbourhood, depression, stress, anxiety and loss of dignity, are treated with prescriptions and anti-depressants, but so many of these symptoms could be alleviated by addressing the root causes of poor health.
  • The food bank here is busting at the seams because of increased demand. I have seen the numbers of people that eat at the drop-in here multiply immensely in the last year. I find this very worrisome.
  • We need to see this healthy food supplement in the provincial budget. To me, the benefit will be priceless.

Comment from Linda

The proposed $100 monthly food supplement for people like me living with multiple chronic disabilities and trying to survive on ODSP and eat a healthy diet translates quite simply to the following – the ability to purchase: Apples, Asparagus, Bananas, Blackberries, Blueberries, Bread, Cauliflower, Cheese, Chicken, Cranberry Juice, Eggplant, Eggs, Grapes, Kiwi Fruit, Mango, Margarine, Milk, Orange Juice, Oranges, Peanut Butter, Peppers, Pineapple, Plums, Potatoes, Rice, Salmon, Sardines, Sausages, Spinach, Stewing Beef, Strawberries, Tomatoes, Yogurt, Zucchini…items above and beyond the clearance items, food bank food and pre-packaged low cost/low nutrition items that now form the main part of my diet.

Apples (1LB/Fuji)(@ Food Basics)                        $0.79
Apples (1LB/Granny Smith)(@ Metro)              $1.49
Asparagus (1LB)(@ Price Chopper)                        $1.49
Bananas (1LB/Organic)(@ Loblaws)                        $0.79
Blackberries (1 Pint)(@ Loblaws)                        $2.50
Blueberries (6OZ)(@ Food Basics)                        $1.67
Bread (Whole Wheat/570G loaf)(@ Food Basics)    $1.49
Cauliflower (Large/White)(@ Loblaws)            $1.99
Cheese (750G/Cheddar)(@ Food Basics)            $5.99
Cheese (750G/Mozzarella)(@ Food Basics)         $5.99
Chicken Breasts (1LB/Skinless)(@ Price Chopper) $2.88
Chicken Drumsticks (1LB)(@ Food Basics)         $1.99
Cottage Cheese (500G)(@ Shoppers Drug Mart)     $1.99
Cranberry Juice (1.89L)(@ Metro)                        $2.00
Eggplant (1LB)(@ Metro)                         $1.49
Eggs (1 Dozen/Large/White)(@ Food Basics)       $1.99
Grapes (1 LB/Red & Black/Seedless)(@ Loblaws)   $1.49
Kiwi Fruit (2LB)(@ Food Basics)                 $1.67
Mango (Large)(@ Sobeys)                         $0.99
Margarine (907G/Soya)(@ Loblaws)                        $2.99
Milk (1%/4L)(@ Food basics)                     $3.97
Orange Juice (1.75L)(@ Metro)                   $2.50
Oranges (1 LB)(@ Food Basics)                   $0.69
Peanut Butter (1KG)(@ Loblaws)                  $3.49
Peppers (4 Pack/Red Bell)(@ Sobeys)             $2.99
Pineapple (@ Food Basics)                               $1.67
Plums (1 LB)(@ Food Basics)                     $0.99
Potatoes (15LB/Russet)(@ Price Chopper)         $4.99
Rice (8KG Bag)(@ Price Chopper)                 $9.88
Salmon (213G/Sockeye)(@ Loblaws)                $1.67
Sardines (106G)(@ Shoppers Drug Mart)           $0.99
Sausages (1.25 KG)(@ Sobey’s)                   $7.99
Spinach (142G)(@ Price Chopper)                 $2.49
Stewing Beef (1LB)(@ Food Basics)                       $4.99
Strawberries (1LB)(@ Price Chopper)             $1.99
Tomatoes (1LB)(@ Food Basics)                   $0.99
Yogurt (750G)(@ Price Chopper)                  $2.49
Zucchini (1LB)(@ Metro)                         $1.49
Total: (Based on prices February 15, 2009)      $99.93

Check out the videos of people commenting on the Food Supplement on the YouTube Channel


Links to Other Relevant Sites

83 thoughts on “Put Food In The Budget

  1. I agree that a Canadian citizen should not be hungry. I also have to say that I am appalled by the number of people on different types of assistance that SMOKE. How healthy is that. I don’t think a gift card would work unless it was for more than one store. I would assume that people would try and get the best value for their dollar.
    I also think that what is really lacking in this society is hands on training for people to learn how to cook something for themselves that is nutritious and economical. We have become a society of expensive fast food and prepared food ingestion. The problem is that most people have never learned to cook.

  2. Tracy Mellon

    I am a mother of five children on ODSP. $100.00 does make a difference on a small income. It can buy alot of food however, with teens in my home they are consantly eating. It would be so nice to have an increase in our benefits like they increase min. wage, the taxes, the prices on everything. well, we need to benefit too. We are people and sometimes there are people unable to work. I’d love to rid myself of all my suffering and work but I can’t stuck with disabilities and hardship due to them. give people a break raise the amounts on our cheques so we can put healthy food on the table for our kids. thank you!

  3. I would just like to respond to the comment about not signing the petition due to the fact that it does not include the working poor. I have had the fortunate oppurtunity to participate in quite a few aspects of the 25 in 5 campaign and spoke to quite a few of the advocates for this and “people in charge” so to speak. This has never and will never be a campaign specifically set out to better the lives of only those on social assistance and disibility. We have and continue to fight for a poverty free Ontario and although this particular area appears to be for social assistance and disibilty please remember that when dealing with the government that there are many steps to be taken and that they need to be baby steps. It is my understanding that this should and could include the working poor as soon as possible. Please do not discriminate this petetion because you feel that you are better or somehow more deserving of this because you are working 40 hours a week, please look into the levels of income between yours and social assistance and consider that together we can improve each others life instead of pitting yourself against us. The 25 in 5 has been working hard for other things such as housing and employment standards etc. so remember that all this together will help. I cannot impress enough how attending just 1 forum opened my eyes to all the aspects of poverty that present in Ontario and all that is needed to eradicate it. I am living in poverty and would be very encouraged to see this $100.00 brought in and then extended to all working poor as well. Any one who has a heart and soul and wants to see all those living in poverty lifted up and a better Ontario for all will sign this petition and not consider what this means for one group and not another. We must all consider one step that will lead to more.This is not a fight that any one can step back on even if it is not helping them in particular. PLEASE PLEASE lets all stand united on every issue and show the government and everyone else that we CARE.

  4. The woman who said she would not sign this petition thinks a woman with three children on welfare makes what she makes working 40hrs at $18.00. You have not done your homework. I believe you are stating a week.
    Yes, I agree that this petition should include the working poor but please don’t mistaken your monthly amount to be the same as a woman with three children on welfare the same. It is not. Changing the stigma is just a phone call away, find out yourself when you call your local Social Assistance office or better yet make an appointment and you will fall off your chair when you know what the actual amount is. Advocating for this petition 100%. Thanks.

  5. Judy Feeley

    As an educator in a school in a low-income area I see first hand how children and families are effected by not having enought money to make nutritious food choices. I believe that this supplement would help them greatly.

  6. An extra $100 a month would mean I’d be able to purchase the proper daily nutritious foods we require each and every day and should be purchased at least four times per month. The daily recommended amount of vitamins and minerals per day are essential in the foods we eat, so if I can not purchase these nutritious foods I have to substitute these with multi-vitamins that are man made. In others words I’m puting synthetic chemicals into my body that I do not want, it’s like the man made pencillin of antibiotic compounds with the general formula C9H11N2O4SR9 obtained from the filtrates of certain molds, Penicillium produced synthetically and many a doctor will not prescibe this due to the fact it may kill you.
    So for the natural organic method is to purchase ‘Danish Blue Cheese’, at an extra expense. I personally myself go to the health food store and purchase natural organic vitamins and minerals and natural organic Joint Relief, due to the back surgery a few years ago, whereas I can not stand or sit for to long as I have to do my exercises every two hours, bend backwards for at least twenty.

    The following described below of nutrious foods that are available here in the Grand City of Sudbury are of average prices;

    Your Independant Grocers

    Country Harvest Multi Grain Bread @ $2.89
    President Choice Burger First @ $3.49
    D’Italiano White Bread @ 1.99
    Green Leaf Lettuce @ $1.99
    Baby Carrots @ $1.99
    Red Pepper @ $2.99 per pound
    Cremini Mushrooms @ $2.49 per pound
    Grape Tomatoes US pint(551ml) @ $1.99
    Cauliflower @ $1.99
    Broccoli @ $1.99
    Organic Blueberries US 6oz (170g) @ $3.99
    Apples @ $1.49 per pound
    Navel Oranges @ $1.99 per pound
    Pork Chops @ $10.77 per kilogram price $5.00 avg
    Ocean’s Highliner Pink Salmon @ $5.99
    PC Chicken @ $8.80 per kilogram price $5.00 avg
    Pasta @ $1.89 to $2.89 per 300g package
    Brown Rice 1kg @ $3.89
    No Name Crackers @ $1.99
    Post Shredded Wheat Cereal @ $4.89 to $6.89 425g
    Dinone Silhouette Yogart @ $3.49
    Sealtest 4% Cottage Cheese @ $2.99
    Roasted Vegetable Lasagna @ $5.99 1kg
    Roasted Chicken Pie @ $5.99 1kg
    Poulon’s Potatoes 10 lb bag @ $2.99
    Habitant Minestrone Soup No Preservatives $0.99 to $2.89
    Primo Soup @ $0.99 to $2.89
    Hot Banana Peppers @ $2.89
    President Choice Jam 50% less calories @ $3.89 per month
    Cookies @ $1.99 to $2.89
    Apple pie @ $5.99
    Hellmann’s Mayo 1kg @ $3.49 to $4.49
    Farquhar’s Butter @ $2.99 454g
    Gray Ridge 18 Eggs @ $3.89
    Realemon Juice @ $2.89
    Nestle’s Green Tea 12 Cans @ $5.99 two per month
    Blue Menu Popcorn @ $1.99 at 3 per month

    Food Basic’s

    Cavendish Fries @ $1.89
    Cavendish Potato Patties @ $1.99
    Equality White Old Cheese @ $3.99 to $7.99
    Equality Honey 1kg @ $3.99 to $5.99
    Equality Bacon 500g @ $1.99 to $3.99
    Schnieder’s Bologna @ $1.99 to $3.99

    Plaza 69 Drugs

    Farquhar’s Full Homo Milk 4 litres @ $5.99 at 4 per month

    A 1/2 litre per day(approx) is a good source of vitamin ‘D’

    We are of the unfortunates whether we be on Ontario Social Assistance or Ontario Disability or both ODSP and Canada Pension Disability do not receive the acquired amount to purchase these nutritional foods, back in 1997 a philosipher a person with a doctorate did try to live on a fixed income in the big city of Toronto, but he did not take in the factors that he also lived on a salary of $100,000 a year within a condo apartment.
    Those days are past tense, this is what the governing government of the Ministry of Social Services has taken in consideration of those facts that this person could live on $60.00 a week. Well to my figures at $60.00 per week at four weeks in a month thats $240.00 of non nutritional foods. On an average month we of Northern Ontario are ‘paying for what we eat’ at these prices we should have at least the $100.00 for nutritional food’s. As the price of food in southern Ontario is of no comparison to the price of food in Northern Ontario.
    “We are the unfortunates, there is no justice.”

  7. As a single adult on OW getting $490 a month, I can say that the endless preoccupation with trying to get enough to eat to keep energy levels up, drains the spirit and soul out of a person. Being on OW is new to me. I’m 46 years old and never needed EI or OW up to this point in my life, I truly never realized how brutal it is! I was an elite level athlete, I “know” my body. I can feel it atrophying! It’s scary…

    I would challenge ANY politician to try to live on what we get per month, for 3 months, then make your decision on this… You will feel the spirit and soul drain from you. You will feel your body decaying. You will truly understand how it MUST lead to skyrocketing healthcare costs because you will feel the life being drained from your body.

    This WILL save the province money in the long term, AND stimulate the economy immediately.

    Bless you all for telling your stories, I’m humbled by your strength.


  8. Does anyone know when we are going to get it or what happeing with it would be nice to get it soon than later ,

  9. Isaac Anwhatin

    Its difficult to make ends meat while paying utilities which is extremely. Its hard to buy food after monthly expenses especially when cots of food keeps increasing.

  10. Marie Panamick

    Groceries are extremely expensive and prices continue to increase. The extra 100 would definitely help cover this cost.

  11. Pierrette Desormeaux

    Purchase a yearly license and it’s needed equipment…
    A fishing license and a fishing pole with tackle I could fish and catch wild rabbit and partridge with a small gaming license.
    Purchase small electric appliances to help me save more money…
    A small or medium freezer with help me sotre my summer fruits for winter and my meats for later.
    A portable sewing machine and sew curtains out of old bed sheets, mend my favourite clothing and shorten and make to fit quality hand-me-downs to ware. Make cloth diapers for my children and buy baby formula.
    A food chopper could chop my meants to help me digest because I have no teeth.

    I suffer form depression and parnoia. I often find myself alone at home with no place to go. With an extra $100 per month I would be less discouraged because I would afford a bus pass. When I have a bus pass I could choose where I could go at my given moment instead of how do I get there and come back.
    I would not have to to to non-profits and get caught-up in the organizational politics. I would feel less segregated and freer to pursue my own wants and needs. I could take my time to heal physically and emotionally with my own activities and places to feel safe in.
    I would becomes the master of my own ship instead of a follower. I could stay away from places where human predator’s congregate and go to healthy community activities because with the extra money I would purchase a monthly bus pass I could go anywhere the city bus can take me.
    Dare to dream… It feels exciting and scary at the same time yet I feel more alive just with the prospect that I could be that much closer to physical and emotional freedom.
    An extra $100 dollars a month would make all the differnce my world. And thank you for asking and giving me hope that maybe… that extra $100 a month might just happen one day.

  12. Rick Desormeaux

    If the government wants to provide stimulus to the economy one of the best ways is to give money to help people in low or fixed income situations. They in turn will inevitably use the money to pay for the things they want and need. They are unlikely to be able to leave the money in savings or send the money to some other country. They will buy locally because they cannot do otherwise. Whatever they buy will be used by themselves becaus they have, of course, no corporate infrastructures to hide, transfer or filter funds into.
    The $100 would be not a cost. It would be an investment. An investment bound to have a multiplier effect as people who would qualify for it are probably going to use it to buy things from other people and stores that are in modest circumstances. They are not dealing with millionaires and huge corporations. They are on the street and what they spend is spent on the street.
    Putting the $100 into low income individuals is the right thing to do. This is the right time to do it.
    Do you want to the right thing? I thought so!

  13. Pierrette Desormeaux

    Have Bus Pass Will Travel…
    With my 100.00$ I would by a monthly bus pass. Free my time and save me money.
    Attend free community activities such the Public Libraries where I could take out DVDs, CDs or video, even take out a book or two. I could attend free presentations at the Laurentian University.
    Purchase fresh fruits and vetables, fresh fish and meat at various local stores and markets. Shop at various grocery store and buy their sales items. Goto b akeries and buy their day old high fibre bread. At the National Grocers, Smithy’s and fruit markets I could purchase healthy fresh produce. I the spring I would pick my own straw berries,in the fall blueberries, rasberries, chock cherries and hazel nuts. In the winter, summer or fall I would to to various local fishing spots and catch my own fish. It would help me supplement my dietary needs like going to the Soup Kitchen, the Mission and the Out of the Cold meals bring while visiting with long lsot friends during those meals. I could bring my bags home of food and clothing from the Food Bank, Communtiy Closets and Yard Sales.
    Purchase outdoor activities and access local walking trails and lakes to hike and swim. Visit family and friends and catch up and share life’s stories. attend church services and counselling and yearly doctor and dentist appointments. Accompany friends and family and my children to predetermined ‘rendez-vous’.

  14. Clients from the Mission

    Purchase yearly licenses and its’ needed equipment.. A fishing license and a fishing pole with tackle I could fish and catch wild rabbit and partridge with a small gaming licence.
    Purchase samll electrical appliance to help me save more money…
    A samll or medium freezer will help me store me summer fruits for winter and my meats for later.
    A portable sewing machine and sew curtains out of bed sheets, mend for favourite clothing and shorten and make to fit quality ahdn-me downs to ware. Make cloth diapers for my children and by baby formula.
    A food chopperwould chop my meats to help me digest because I have no teeth.
    Buy new panties and bras. Specialvitamins for my eyes, sunscreen and over the counter items my drug card doesn’t cover. Pay for my son’s brace for his broken collar-bone and a phone. Pay for pet food and pet insurance and the cities’ yearly dog tag or cat tag. Buy new shoes, special insoles and dental bridges and dentures.
    Rent a better apartment. Put money away for that new apartment’s last month’s rent.

  15. miish manitowabi

    i am currently on OW and do find it hard to make what little is given to stretch…i can supply the Prime Minister with a self-written book on “101 Ways to Prepare Hamburger”
    i am fortunate to have a cooking background, but $100 would sure go a long way, 25 a week, towards fresh milk, fruits and vegetables…

  16. Holly Maki

    It’s all about what we value, I value healthy humans, and healthy food for all.

  17. John Rimore

    March 17, 2009

    I am not on OW or ODSP. I work with people who are on OW and ODSP and can attest to the terrible legacy we are giving our province because we refuse to assist people with their most basic of needs; food and shelter. Frankly, $100.00 per month does not even cut it, it merely puts it back to 1995 levels. This increase has to be done; for sooner than we think the children of these families will soon become adults and we must offer these children and their parents dignity and respect. The problems will not mysteriously disapear. If corporations can be offered money to keep on going, why cannot we give reasonable assistance to those who most need it.

  18. John Rimore

    March 17, 2009

    I am not on OW or ODSP. I work with people who are on OW and ODSP and can attest to the terrible legacy we are giving our province because we refuse to assist people with their most basic of needs; food and shelter. Frankly, $100.00 per month does not even cut it, it merely puts it back to 1995 levels. This increase has to be done; for sooner than we think the children of these families will soon become adults and we must offer these children and their parents dignity and respect. The problems will not mysteriously disapear. If corporations can be offered money to keep on going, why cannot we give reasonable assistance to those who most need it.

  19. I was on Ontario Works back in 1998-1999 when my husband was removed from the home.
    This was shortly after the cuts.
    I was recieving 1350/mo for me and 4 kids.
    from that I had to pay a mtge of 579
    gas of 179
    Hydro of 180
    all our bills
    and feed AND clothe 4 children.
    THe federal govt kicked in an extra 180?/mo to poor families and the provincial govt removed that amt from my check.
    Actually what they did was remove the mtge payment and the govt kickback and my check was 579.00 in total.
    After 6 mo’s my exhusband was forced to provide child support of 1379 and I was taken off the system.
    I left the area and worked 2-3 jobs since to help support
    If anyone out there thinks a family of 5 can live off 1350 a month even if in subsidized housing they are living a pipe dream.
    It’s hard to believe that only a short time before that I would actually have been making more..the standards today are still lower than what they were 11 yrs ago..all at the mercy of our children.

  20. Mike Clarke

    It is unacceptable that a country, and specifically, a province with our wealth is unable to insure all those who reside in the basic diet to sustain a dignified and healthy lifestyle. As a signatory of the 1948 UN Human Rights Charter, as well as the cost effectiveness of the $100 food supplement, it is incumbent it is passed fortwith to prevent further needless suffering and the associated higher health costs to taxpayer.

  21. I agree. I am a 32 year old single mom of 2 children under 5 years old and they are by the same father. I have always worked since the age of even 11 (whilst attending school) and always have worked untill I had my first son at 27. I wanted to stay home and raise them for the first 5 years of their lives being that is when they are most impressionable. Their father and I are no longer together, partly because he is to lazy to work. We have been through court and there was no order for support made. I am on the waiting list for subsidized housing and have been so for 3 yrs with an expected wait of more than 3 additional years. The cheapest rent I could find was $802 per month for a 2 bedroom apt.

    After rent, phone, cable, transportation costs ($8.30 per round trip on ttc with 2 children), diapers, wipes and pull ups, standard house hold things (garbage bags, light bulbs, cleaning products, laundry detergent, soap and shampoo to name a few) clothing, seasonal clothing (winter boots and coats) haircuts for the kids and also laundry itself (which costs 3.50 per load to wash and dry at approx. 5-6 loads per week) there is little money left to buy food.
    I tend to find myself and many others in my same situation buying whatever we can at the $1.oo sales and anything else that goes on sale. Unfortulately a lot of the cheaper foods that go on sale are microwavable and processed foods. And also things like alpha ghetti or Kraft dinner.
    It is extremely difficult to budget to cook healthy home made meals using meat and fresh vegetables, as well as salads and fresh fruits. This is even WITHOUT buying any clothing, haircuts for myself. I do not drink or do drugs or party, therefore, one cannot say that I “waste” any of the money I receive on myself. My children do not get to go to the zoo or any other extra affairs either.
    An extra $100 dollars a month would certainly help to ensure that my children are in fact able to consume much healthier foods. I find this to be extremely important as my eldest son will be attending kindergarten this coming september.
    I believe that proper nutrition for children in schools is vital if the child is expected to maintain a healthy level of energy and also for maintaining the information that they are there to learn.
    I also think that to issue the amount as a “voucher” is demeaning to those who will use it. A person’s financial situation is also a personal thing. To make recipients use vouchers is publicly declaring that you are in financial hardship. Not something that the cashier or numerous strangers in lines around you should be privy to know.
    I don’t know how many people if any will ever read this but I felt that it was important to express myself to “open the eyes” of whomever does not see this extra food amount as imperative.

  22. I agree with a gift card 100$ so its not abused!! Iam an overweight female and started at the gym a few weeks ago but Iam finding it harder to eat propeley with the workout and I no its about both!Man the prices of healthy food are more expencive! I have a young child and would love to show him the right way to eat and execize to keep him as helthy as I can so that he wont have to go what I have gone threw struggling with my weight!

  23. Although I host radio’s “disRespect” on CFMU 93.3 and, I often eat at the Salvation Army. I have been driven from my hard-won $400 bachelor apartment by my landlord, who dislikes accommodating disabilities in the simplest ways. I’ve found another apartment, while learning that for the last two years, $400 plus insurance and utilities just does not buy a socially tolerable place to bring friends or family. Add hydro and insurance, the new apartment is $100 a month more than I get for shelter. The Salvation Army closes the gap, but if my income falls more in real terms because of an inadequate increase, what further relief can I expect? My disability creates its own nutritional demands. When can I afford to make all my own meals?

  24. This 100.00 would benefit my health, not my pocketbook. The misconceptions people have of recipients on ODSP is totalitarian and ignorant. What a well calculated propoganda of hate against the poor of this country. As a person with multiple health issues, I offer to trade all of them for the health and properity of those of better physical fortune. My hydro bill tripled because I became so ill from having no heat on to save money to eat. When my shoes wear out, I have to eliminate decent food for weeks to cover the measely cost. So many think we have everything covered, or given to us. They are very wrong. I would also like to comment that the poster who spoke of this supplement for working poor, whether they know we do not get the CTB, or other federal injections of cash, as ODSP simply “restructures benefits ” that equal the removal of the benefit. Food costs have risen 22%, hydro have almost doubled, and rents are in the stratosphere. Our last increase of 19.00 does not begin to address this, when it brings us economically farther behind han we were. Food banks are great if you can get there and don’t mind expired food. I did not ask or sign up for the medical problems I have, and those who think so negatively toward us are simply practising eugenics. You want to see who is really abusing the system, try the Provincial Governments last 30% raise. if they were as responsible and careful with their income as we, they would never need $30,000+ raises. Maybe they should get that 30 grand on a gift card, I hear they spend hundreds on a single meal, or shoes even…

  25. Dan Gibson

    I won’t sign your petion because it should cover the working poor.A person with three kids on welfare bring’s home what I do working 40 hrs a week at $18.00 hr.So the petion should include the working poor as well.

  26. gloria Dean

    I am a senior with diabetis, and i have a very hard time trying to cope with buying healthy food.what i find difficult is buying lancets and strips , yes the monitor is free but the other 1 of the 2 are expensive , finding fruit is very hard trying to get enough for a month.buying good protein is another hardship , so it would be so helpful to have a food increase, I pray to God it comes to pass.

  27. Doreen Ojala

    Please see comment above: THE FIRST LINE SHOULD READ – I think that anyone who says that people living with disabilities or who are unfortunately are on welfare WILL LIKELY SCAM THE SYSTEM IF GIVEN A $100 HEALTH FOOD INCREASE, does not actually know anyone who has to endure poverty on a daily basis.

  28. Doreen Ojala

    I think that anyone who says that people living with disabilities or who are unfortunately are on welfare, don’t actually know anyone who has to endure poverty on a daily basis. I also think that the government has done an excellent job at the propaganda around these issues and that public opinion around these issues might change if the government would actually take the lead with a social marketing campaigns about the true facts of poverty. Perhaps with the current economic downturn, the average person (ones that are not “living off the system” would realize that complexities that happen in people’s lives that can eventually force them to seek support. Other countries value their citizens a little more when they are down and out, in Canada, it seems that we kick them when they are down. In the long run, this attitude and the policies that support these attitudes, really do no good. I am speaking interms of the health issues involved, the children who are growing up with insecure economic futures and no opportunities to better themselves, and the general failure to deal with the root causes of poverty, which are vast I am sure, from family disfunction, to low self esteem, to health capacities, to the high cost of living in a society that does not provide a decent living wage. So, yes, at the minimum we as a society either ensure that food is available and affordable for all, or ensure that people have sufficient income to feed themselves properly, live in housing that has proper cooking facilities, that grocery stores are accessible, and a host of other issues to ensure the long term health and happiness of the most vulnerable in our society – is that not a noble goal to work towards?

  29. Derrick McBurney

    Boy it’s nice not too feel so alone. When i worked on Deb Matthews first campaign italked to her about maybe getting the poor $50 in the middle of the month.I had the good fortune to be at the 25-5 forum and again made the suggestion but now we were up to $100 month and even OW caseworkers and managers in London who are very supportive of the idea ask me but can a $100 more really help. The only question i have is what protection is being suggested to make sure that what use to be called hotel-motel residents from raising rents big time.Mine went from$ 345 to $420 when we got a small increase the first year the liberals were in power? Many others ran into the same problem.

  30. Robert Briggs

    At a time when health care costs are becoming unmanageable it is only common sense to be proactive in keeping our population healthy. Besides, its just the right thing to do. Add food to the budget.

  31. Does anyone know when we are suppose to get this money or heard when it would help all of us right now the price of food>

  32. Tracy Gagnon

    Of course I agree with this initiative – it is so shameful that there are so many people in Canada who have so little.

  33. Don Sutherland

    I wholeheartedly support the “Put Food in the Budget” enterprise.


  34. I have multiple disabilities & have been an ODSP recipient for many years. I now have diabetes, which, I have been assured by many specialists could have been prevented simply by eating the right kinds of foods in the right combinations. Unfortunately, I simply cannot afford those foods, so I must fill up on starchy pastas and canned fruit, which are TERRIBLE for you! Imagine how many cases of diabetes can be prevented simply by providing us enough money to buy what we need! Imagine the money that could be saved by the healthcare system and on our drug insurance if we did not have to treat illnesses like diabetes after the fact, but could prevent it, instead! If I could afford to eat properly, I could cut down on the diabetes pills I take and on future treatments for complications!!

  35. Yes i agree with this petition for extra money. the grocery card is an idea but not neccessary as most people i think can make good decisions and when you are hungry you will buy food….that simple.

  36. Linda Sheppard

    “I think it is vital that we support those who are in need. Food is a necessity, not a luxury. Illness results from lack of good food. I absolutely agree with the petition.”

  37. Lindsey Barr

    A gift card is only demeaning and stigmatizing to those on social assistance. Quit treating us like we are irresponsible and unable to purchase food when given money to do so. If u can not get to the store that the gift card is for then what? If u need a special diet and that store does not carry that food or it is more expensive then what? Quit acting like people on social assistance need to be babysat or are on it because they are unable to make the right decisions.

  38. Patty Whelan

    I agree with the gift card for a grocery store.

  39. Janine McCracken

    i am in agreement with the need for an extra monthly amount
    for people on assistance. I also feel that the $100.00 should be on a gift card so it is not abused.

  40. Marc Bernstein

    Because of ODSP cutbacks and the elimination of my income support and diabetic diet, today my diabetes and my health are in danger. I have just had to take a loan,as I have no food. I am feeling extremely weak. I am emotionally under terrible stress today. Between waiting for my monthly CPP Disability Cheque, and this most unfair ODSP cutback to me,I protest. I contacted my neighborhood representatiive in Parliament. I would like to find out who is the minister responsible for ODSP? These people who run ODSP are ignorant,insensitive political civil servants. They want diabetics and the disabled who are self-employed to quit and give up. I won’t quit. I refuse to quit. I wonder if these ODSP people know or care about people who want to work,have unfortunate health issues,and are struggling so much. Who was it that said: “Let Them Eat Cake”? To me,ODSP heads and directors have the attitude of wanting only to put the disabled through so much grief,they’ll go under. To me,this is hardly humanitarian.

  41. stephanie

    i think it is a great idead because the amount of money that people get being on assistance is not enough to live off.

  42. Bev Lewis

    People of fixed incomes are at such a disadvantage in purchasing or consuming good food. Many of the financailly disadvantaged are overweight because they cannot afford the cost of eating healhy.

    I fully support any increse to help support financially strapped individuals. It is too bad that politicians really do not see the difficulty of living on fixed incomes, particularly when you consider their salaries and percs. Let them live someone else’s life, someone who is financially, physically, and/or metally challenged just for a week.

  43. Karen Donovan

    I am in agreement with this petition but I think the $100.00 should be in the form on a food gift card, so it is not abused. There are a lot of people who desperately need this but there are also people who WILL abuse it.

  44. Glen Merrigan

    I am in agreement with this petition.

  45. Marc Bernstein

    Some futher comments: I have been on ODSP for a few years. I am a learning disabled person,self-employed former projectionist. I receive Govt of Canada Disability Benefit Pension each month. I am completely out of food right now, my diabetes is no longer in control. I am supposed to eat healthy: fruits like apples, berries,melons,or cantelope. Cheese: low fat,which I am unable to afford now. Bottled water-can’t afford that. Eggs-butter-I have no food. My blood sugars range these days from 15-29. I frequently get low blood sugars in the night. Dealing with ODSP people like Maria Caputo,Marilyn Renwick is very difficult for me. I feel ODSP is very biased. I operate as self-employed business Proprietor,but due to rising costs of food and ODSP cutting off my income support and diabetic diet,my health and emotions are reaching the breaking point! I am fighting to not end up in a diabetic coma due to ODSP behaving so unfairly to me!! I have even emailed Jack Layton,unfortunately nothing happened. Mr.Guinty and his health minister makes lots of promises,but they are glib,and I feel truly do not care. I was born with a Klippel-Feil Curvature Spine. I did not ask for this disability. I guess the ODSP people are under the impression that diabetics and the disabled can exist eating only stale,moldy bread and tap water!! Bah Humbug!! Marc Bernstein. That extra $100.00 would prevent diabetics like me from ending up with further diabetic complications. Too bad McGuinty is too glib to see this. The ODSP Political people make me wonder if they really care at all about people like me. I need fruits,vegies like potatoes,carrots,cauliflower,milk,eggs,butter,low fat cheese,wholesome bread,I don’t want to EAT DENTED TUNA!!!

  46. Marc Bernstein

    I am a self-employed disabled diabetic on insulin. I am only on Extended ODSP Health Benefits : I receive monthly drug card, dental card,coverage for most prescription drugs, I have gout,am supposed to be on a diabetic diet,but that was taken away from me by ODSP,because they said my earnings from business exceeded my coverage-in my view,this is extremely biased by ODSP against me! I formerly received income support of $288.00 per month. Barely adequate. I live alone,in an apt,I have many health issues. I feel that I should at least have my ODSP income support reinstated,or improved. $125.00 per month is inadequate for my needs. I pay per month $150.00 minimum for neccessary insulin pen needles,gauze pads,alcohol pads,peroxide,drugs that are not covered : Benac Wash,Singular,Clindamycin lotion, Phisohex,plus food. I take many pills : Meformin,Tiazac, Atavan (I suffer vertigo) Crestor,anti-gout drug, Asthma medication,I have to buy orange juice,specially filtered,diet drinks,juices,breads for diabetics, proper meals-plus pay for Immodium. The extra $100.00 per month would definately ease my financial and health burdens. This week I have had unstable diabetes-with sudden low blood sugars. I have an allergy to NPH insulin,unfortunately,due to ODSP restrictions,I am not allowed to take other insulins,as these are not covered. The whole ODSP system leaves much to be desired! The disabled and diabetics who are self-employed are truly struggling,like myself.

  47. The extra $100 a month would mean so much. We are on ODSP and my husband who had MD works. This would help him have better food so that he stays healthy and actively employed longer. I am forced to stay at home as a caregiver(he can’t be left alone at home) so we barely make ends meet with bills let alone food. At the end of the month cheap foods are a staple of our diet.

  48. Another $100 a month would mean the last week of the month I’d be able to eat properly. I am usually broke by the last week of every month and tend to scrounge and not eat properly. I am a diabetic and this means a time of unstable blood sugars for me as I tend to fill up on carbs like rice and pasta that is cheap which brings my blood sugar up. Try and eat a diabetic diet on the amount I get from odsp after buying diabetic supplies every month and living expenses. It’s just not possible. It seems I am doomed to a shorter life due to the life of poverty I have been forced into. Please $100 can make a huge difference.

  49. Government must raise the ODSP rates to a level that is above the poverty line. We cannot accept NO for an answer. We must continue to push Government until poverty is eliminated from Ontario. Everyone has a right to decent food and shelter.

  50. Dianna K. Goneau Inkster

    or google Quixote’s Horse, then, click on WORKFARE. > lists > subscribe anticorporateKingston for a collection of articles on poverty found chiefly in the Toronto Star and published in the last couple of years. “knowledge is Power”,as they say. One of the strangest periods of my life happened last year when I was handing out notices that the Kingston Coalition Against Poverty would be holding a Hunger Clinic the Sunday after the election and then, working the clinic by helping the dietitian with medical histories. It’s wonderful to see a mainstream organization taking up the cause of getting food into people’s bellies. They feel, think, act much better when their nutritional needs are met.


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