A Walk in Other’s Shoes is returning to this year’s Week of Action Against Poverty. This challenge is being undertaken by individuals in the community who have interests within the health field. Participants have been asked to attempt to stay within a social assistance benefits’ budget. A single person on Ontario Works would receive $337 monthly for all of their personal needs and $384 for all of their shelter costs. Because participants cannot replicate the housing conditions realistically, shelter costs are not included within this challenge. For the five day challenge, participants will have $11 daily to cover all food and drink, entertainment, some personal supplies and transportation costs. Each day, every participant will be given a challenge card which will reveal an unexpected challenge to be completed before the end of the day.

A Walk in Other’s Shoes is not a competitive challenge. It is a challenge that raises awareness of the hurdles that people living on social assistance face daily. As we within our community develop our own understanding, we can begin to reduce the barriers that they encounter and ultimately increase opportunities for increased prosperity for all. The challenge takes place February 10th-14th, 2018.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

This Is Starting To Take Its Toll

This afternoon having minimal access to greens as I cant afford it. Day 4 I am feeling the "buildup". No green fibre. I was able to go to the local No Frills and buy clearance snap peas. As long as I do not eat the whole bag this may work. I am lucky I was also able to have a great bowl of soup at the Fellowship today. The gift of soup  gave me a chance to have some wild rice that for sure I never would have been able to afford on my budget.


The start of my participation was met with excitement and some fear. I have been living a very busy lifestyle and the awareness of budget that is somewhat not priority for me at this time I found difficult. I always knew the importance of preparation and organization; however, I have not placed a lot of time and effort in meal planning until now.

Day One - I was very much worried. I took place in a ice fishing derby. Due to coming back from a very late flight I was not prepared. We all know eating out has its downfalls financially. To make my day work with minimal prep I resorted to "do you want a bite?" and leftovers of the boyfriends order and food for the day as if I ordered my own it would take more then my day budget. Not a very proud day.

Day Two - I noticed to be able to play with menu planning and having different and variety was difficult. Any additional nutrition I wanted to take in for day would take too much cost at the grocery store. I craved fluffy eggs with some green vibrant vegetables. As we all know its a very bad time of year to decide to eat raw and healthy. I was fortunate my place that I was visiting feed me for free in the morning as it provided me the opportunity to enjoy a coffee on the way home with a long john which I was lucky was on clearance. VERY WORTH IT!

Day Three - This was my first day on challenge in the workplace. I had no idea how social the idea of coffee and snacks are. To not be stopping and buying my daily treat of coffee at Tim Hortons or Starbucks on way to work is a major shift to my day. The process made me very aware how much I will waste on unnecessary cost on what I could do by simply visiting the coffee pot at work. To be on a minimal budget I could not do this daily splurge. I also have found eggs are my best friend right now and oatmeal which I bought to take bite off my hunger. I love my protein and this is very hard to get protein in.  I find meat consumption I am having to really stretch and buy inexpensive or on clearance. I am also finding I am more aware of where can I have a snack for free that is already set out.