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

Monday, February 10, 2014

Bed Bugs!

Today's challenge is - we found bedbugs in one of the children's backpacks. My instinct would be to just throw it out as bedbugs are a world of trouble and my kid goes with no backpack until I find a way to buy another one somewhere. Next would be stripping the bedding and washing all of it. Bedbugs hide in the light so I would make the rooms dark or wait for evening and inspect all the mattresses, couch and chairs with a flashlight. Really paying attention to the seams where they like to hide. I could try to squish them. If I had Raid I would spray them. I know that is not really the best or recommended way to kill bedbugs but a can of Raid may be all I can afford. When I walk downtown today I will stop in at the health unit to get some advice. The kids are at school now. Branson walked to his school. Kate and Owen got a ride from the neighbour as he happened to be leaving as we were walking down the street. The ride was much appreciated as it is very cold today and the road the kids have to walk is not safe. Branson is choosing to take part in the lunch program at school today. Owen and Kate got cheese slice and lettuce sandwiches, carrots a cookie and a muffin that I made. Owen also took a banana and an apple. No juice for the kids. The reason I have been able to make the food budget stretch to get the fruits and veggies is I have not really bought meat. It just costs too much and I could see protein being a problem for people on assistance. Yesterday supper was a hamburger helper. Tomorrow I plan to make pasta with a meat sauce. The meat for these meals come from deer that Gerry shot behind our house with his bow and we butchered it ourselves so there was really no cost involved with that meat. Realistically that is how I have made my normal food budget stretch as well. I know that hunting and fishing isn't a possibility for many people but for lots of folks on some form of assistance it is the way they get meat. Gerry's Ojibwa background is a clutter of sharing meat. When he has hunted enough for us he has got deer for his mom and aunties who have no family to hunt for them. I now plan to walk uptown to pay some bills and run some errands. It takes all day to do simple task so I feel like I get little done in one day and I am tired. I can see this being a problem for people who have to walk everywhere. I at least have warm winter clothes to be walking in. Yesterday Branson asked why the poverty challenge didn't happen in summer when walking everywhere would be easier. Poverty does not take winter vication.

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