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Hamilton anti-poverty group asks Ontarians to reveal the contents of their fridge

Hamilton Organizing for Poverty Elimination launches 'empty fridges empty promises' campaign. Sara Cain, 900 CHML

Hamilton Organizing for Poverty Elimination (H.O.P.E.) is encouraging residents to pop open their fridge and snap a picture for Premier Kathleen Wynne.

The empty fridges, empty promises campaign is an effort to send a clear visual to the Ontario government of what a single person living on Ontario Works is able to put on the table.

READ MORE: Hamilton city council approves poverty reduction plan, supports $15 minimum wage

Deirdre Pike with the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton says a study by public health has shown that the $721 a month that a single person receives from Ontario Works, is simply not enough.

“A hundred dollars a month was figured necessary in order to be able to put fruits and vegetables into those refrigerators for the last two weeks of each month, the toughest time for people as they start turning to food banks” she said. “We know that the pictures that we’ve seen come in so far, definitely lacking fruits and vegetables.”

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In contrast, Pike says other people in the community are tweeting pictures of full fridges to communicate that they too want social assistance rates increased so that others can have a refrigerator like theirs.

READ MORE: Ontario’s basic income pilot project focus of Hamilton town hall meeting

The big request, according to Pike, is to have the amount being made available to those in Ontario’s basic income pilot, also available to single people accessing Ontario Works.

“Make the single person on Ontario Works also have that $17,000.” she said.

“It is to show the gravity of the situation and how much it’s needed.”

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