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MLA Targeted in Right to Food Rally

Group connects legislated food-poverty; marches from welfare office to Jenny Kwan, MLA's office

by Neighbourhood Action Food Group

Outside Jenny Kwan's office (MLA, NDP). Photo courtesy of Rory Sutherland.
Outside Jenny Kwan's office (MLA, NDP). Photo courtesy of Rory Sutherland.


Neighbourhood Action Food Group


Media Release

For Immediate Release

April 9, 2013

Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territory


Community members rally for an end to legislated food-poverty:

Group marches to connect the dots between welfare office and MLA Jenny Kwan’s office

On April 9th, a group of over twenty low-income community members and allies rallied out front of a Ministry of Social Development Office (2350 Commercial Drive) and then marched to NDP MLA Jenny Kwan’s Office. Mostly from the Downtown Eastside, the group called on all provincial politicians to legislate an increase to welfare, disability, and minimum wage as the key policy changes that could put an end to hunger and malnutrition. Their chants ranged from “No starvation, in this wealthy nation!”, to “Jenny Kwan, Adrian Dix, Christy Clark- raise the rates!”

Members of the Downtown Eastside community have gathered together and met over the last few months dating back to January 2013, and formed the Neighbourhood Action Food Group.  They have found that the food proportions provide inequalities to the low-income population with little dignity. The process to distribute community foods with past expiration dates is still occurring within large food charitable groups.  This is not being practiced by upholding the Regulation of Food safety laws and policies.

Canada is signatory to the international Human Right to Food, yet the province of British Columbia legislates housing and income measures that directly contravene this human right. According to the Dieticians of Canada, it takes over 60$ of income for an individual to purchase food for an adequate diet per week. Yet, income assistance rates amount to less than half this, disability rates don’t allow for it, and families on low-wages struggle to provide this too.

Charities are unable to help provide for the needs of those dealing with various issues of social injustice.  Exchanges of real life experiences and research were shared among group members.  We’ve found the results through observations with stories being told on the treatment of low-income individuals.  We believe that charity groups do have good intentions but majority of the community members are not accessing adequate and proper nutritional foods.

Neighbourhood Action Food Group wants to see changes when dealing with local community residence members facing hardships in SROs (Single Residence Occupancy) with bad cooking facilities or not even a refrigerator.  Most people have visible or hidden disabilities which can causes their weakened immune systems to shut down when they are not able to obtain adequate nutrition’s.  

Collective Actions we want to see;
-Advocate for higher wages, welfare & disability rates in order to eat and live with dignity
-Lobbying for food equality & education
-More affordable food Stores.
-Stop gentrifying the community with fancy restaurants & condos.
-SRO'S should have proper regulations on Cooking facilities and kitchen
-Create more community gardens/rooftop gardens within the community.
-More Community Kitchens in SRO'S for people are in isolation.
-We need to address dietary supplements and sensitivity.
-Challenge all food providers to step up to provide good quality foods.
-Food charities line-up continues to be revolving doors like an assembling line. (Even in poor weather conditions).

Contact Neighbourhood Action Foods Group:

Brian Miles:  604-441-0409 (cell)           

Sandra Pronteau: 778-223-3730 (cell)



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