Surviving on $18 a week for food as Welfare Food Challenge 2016 kicks off

File photo.

Could you survive on $18 a week for food?

Several local politicians and union leaders are taking the Welfare Food Challenge to try and answer that question.

It’s meant to highlight the difficulties faced by those who can’t make ends meet. The $18 amount is what remains when you take away rent and other expenses from a basic welfare cheque.

This year organizers had to go to extremes when putting together the challenge because of the high cost of housing.

“This year we cut the bus pass, bus tickets,” said Bill Hopwood from Raise the Rates. “Because if we paid for tickets the people doing this challenge would have had $13 for the week.”

“And I suspect, some of you, at that point, might have said ‘that’s impossible’.”

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Organizers also stressed that what’s needed for a healthy diet is difficult to maintain on welfare.