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Voices on Broadway

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$3.96 and Still Hungry

$3.96 and Still Hungry If I had only $3.96 per day to spend on food, what would I buy? A latte at Starbucks is out of the question. If I bought one of those, that would be my food for the day. If I were on EIA* I would receive only $3.96 for food - part of the $195 per month I get as my basic living allowance. On $3.96 per day, how can I get the best nutritional bang for my buck? If I live in West Broadway, I could go to Agape Table for breakfast and West Broadway Community Ministry for lunch. Still my $27.72 a week food allowance won’t go very far.. I could stretch it a bit more if I register with Winnipeg Harvest. I am going to need to stand in a lot of line ups. I am going to have to settle for food I might not really want. And I will probably have to fill up on lots of starch and sugar because that is what is on offer. I wouldn’t starve to death but I would probably be malnourished and have to spend more time and money dealing with health issues. I cannot survive on what the government provides. I am dependent on charity. People of faith have a religious duty to feed the hungry. And we are doing a good job. We run soup kitchens, host food banks and support Winnipeg Harvest. But at what cost? What does it cost someone in self esteem to ask for a free lunch? If we are to take the commandment to “love your neighbour as you love yourself" seriously, then we need to do more than feed people. We need to think about what we would want if we were in a similar situation. If I were unable to find employment or if I had mental health issues that didn’t allow me work I wouldn’t want to stand in all these line ups day after day struggling to get by with no hope for the future. I would want enough financial support to be able to buy my own groceries, This is why a group of people from different faith backgrounds has come together to call for a HUNGER FREE MANITOBA. During the month of October we will be asking the government of Manitoba to raise the basic allowance for single adults who are on General EIA and Disability allowance. These are the poorest of the poor in our province. We are working closely with Make Poverty History Manitoba on these policy issues. Hunger Free Manitoba will be using the scriptures, symbols, rituals and prayers of our various traditions to implore the government to consider the health and dignity of all Manitobans. We have chosen October because it includes Worldwide Communion, Thanksgiving, World Food Day, and Sukkhot (Jewish Harvest celebration), Muharram and Diwali. Activities for the month include video clips of scripture readings and prayers from different faith traditions, written reflections on hunger from each of the faith traditions and daily facts about food and food bank usage in Manitoba. All these will be on our website and Facebook page. There will be a postcard to the government of Manitoba outlining our hopes for a Hunger Free Manitoba. Still in the planning stages are a presence at the Legislature and a Multifaith Service. Please check out our website, www.hungerfreemb.ca and our Facebook page for updates. Our hope is that many people from different faiths and backgrounds will get involved , pray for relief for those living in poverty and communicate with government about our concerns. * Employment and Income Assistance Lynda Trono Community Minister

Bird’s Hill Picnic —– Candace Maxymowich A day trip is a low priority compared to the basics of shelter, food, clothing, and transportation that many people living in poverty struggle to afford. Taking a break, getting away, and letting go of stress provides benefits to all of us. For people living in poverty who have the hard grind of getting by on a few dollars a day, this is especially true. In August, over 60 volunteers and community members spent a day at Birds Hill Park. We enjoyed the sunny weather and the chance to get away from the hustle of the city. Thanks to everyone who helped make this day so wonderful. "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" will take place Saturday, October 1st and is an educational event as well as a fundraiser. It has been said that to understand someone, you must walk a mile in their shoes. This event is designed to give participants a snapshot of what it's like to live in poverty, particularly with some of the issues individuals and families face to make ends meet. Participants will undertake a one mile route highlighting specific sites, from crowded rooming houses to luxury condos, experiencing the diversity of West Broadway including the barriers of poverty. We are encouraging participants to gather their colleagues, fellow students, fellow faith-community members, and family to form a team to participate. Forming a team will allow you to celebrate the day with friends and family and create a community of people committed to ending poverty that you can continue to learn with. For more information, visit westbroadwaycm.org

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