A Walk In Other's Shoes - Poverty Challenge - Family

This challenge is asking families to attempt to stay within a social assistance budget for five days. Ontario Works benefits provide a maximum basic needs for a couple with any amount of children is $458.00; this sets the challenge budget at $75.00 per family, or $15 per day. A single parent would receive $344.00 per month, therefore, their challenge budget will be $60.00 or $12.00 per day.

The budget includes all food and drink, entertainment, some personal supplies and transportation costs. Each family will be given challenge cards which will reveal additional challenges to be completed before the end of each day. As the family completes the challenge, they will blog about their experience.

Boucher Family

Boucher Family

Saturday, February 8, 2014

All right, one more picture. Sorry for putting them all seperate in different posts, for some reason I am having problems uploading them. Not so techy smart. This is a picture of the laundry I washed by hand drying on a rack in the diningroom. Drying clothes without a dryer was not part of todays challenge, just washing them, but I used to always dry my clothes like this and out on the line all winter long. At the time I needed to do this to keep the electrical bill down so I could pay it. I have gotten out of this habit. I used the "staples" I bought and made applesauce muffins for a treat today. The kids were very happy for the snack. I did use applesauce from my freezer, I didn't buy it. I picked the apples in fall, cooked them and mushed them into applesauce for free in. It is so easy to do and costs nothing, a person just needs to can it or freeze it. I asked Gerry if the places he lived in growing up in poverty had ovens. He said they had the woodstoves with the oven on the side so they could do some baking. As an adult he didn't always live in homes with ovens, just a little hot plate and a small bar fridge. If that is all the housing a person could afford baking would not be an option even if you could afford flour, sugar and eggs. Gerry said he went to his mom's or aunties for yummy bannock when he needed baking! I know many of the housing units downtown don't have real kitchens and many people just have a hotplate. That really limits your ability to eat healthy and save on food costs by baking. We had a nice quiet day at home, it is just too far to walk to many services from our house. As nice as the family day was I could see this growing old fast. It would not take long for a person to feel isolated in this situation. We also did not use our phone to call friends as many people on assistance may not have a phone. Oh, Kate's comment on not being able to play video games today was "being poor sucks". This evening we drove to church for an event. I am employed there and was running a Family Night event so since this was work related we drove. Family night is a free activity night that we do once a month to allow families to socialize with other families, bond with their own families and have free fun. We would have gone even if I were not in charge because it was a great way to be with other adults, the kids had fun and there was free food (which was our supper). Many churches have free events to participate in and there is often food involved with these. Those are always great resources to take advantage of.

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