Sunday, October 30, 2005

Protesting Legislated Hunger in Hamilton

“If you or I were on those benefits, you wouldn’t think twice about applying for anything you can get because you’re so starved and your kids are so starved and your health and their health is being undermined all the time by a lack of fruits and vegetables—a lack of even enough food,” says an impassioned [anti-poverty activist Wey] Robinson. “I think anybody in the general public should be outraged if they come to understand what’s really going on. The system is outrageous. And when you think about 25 per cent of Hamilton’s kids living in poverty and a huge chunk of those kids are in families that are on social assistance, it’s intolerable.”

That comes from an article in this week's View Magazine, the independent weekly in Hamilton, Ontario. It talks about the pending provincial crackdown on a provision activists have been using to help make sure that social assistance recipients have enough food to stay healthy, and includes lots of lengthy quotes from anti-poverty advocates.

Robinson, incidentally, as well as being someone I had the pleasure to work with myself when I lived in Hamilton, is one of the participants in my social movement history interview project.

(Article forwarded by WR.)


Dale said...

I don't know if you're aware, but OCAP's been plugging the Special Diet Supplement Campaign for awhile now.

I live in Hamilton, and both myself and my partner Sara are Social Workers. We've advocated to agencies to promote this benefit, but it is still a little known subsidy, and yes, is in danger of being revoked.

Excellent post!

Scott said...

Hi Dale...thanks for stopping by. Yep, I'm aware of the OCAP campaign, and in fact I'm involved with an Ontario Common Front group up here in Sudbury that has been trying to get a hunger clinic going in this neck of the woods...a lack of docs of the proper persuasion is what has been holding us back.

Good luck with promoting the benefit in Hamilton...another friend of mine back there has said she hopes to get a hunger clinic happening there soon!