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.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Shoes and Such

Challenge #2: “Your child needs a second pair of shoes for inside at school.  How will you take care of his need?”

A few options that come to mind:

- Look for a second hand pair on a buy and sell group on Facebook (ex. Baby Traders).  I need internet access.  The library is closed today.   If I have a phone or tablet I can walk somewhere to use free wi-fi.  If I do find a pair to purchase I’ll have to pick them up - that could be tough depending on the location.

- Look for a second hand pair at “Twice Is Nice” downtown … but they are closed Sundays & Mondays.

- Access the Minto Resource Centre and the items they have available.  I was there on Friday and they seemed to have a great stock pile of this type thing … but they don’t open until Tuesday.

- Look for an affordable pair at a local store.

Heading to a local store in hopes of a good deal is probably my best bet if I can’t wait for the Minto Resource Centre to open on Tuesday.  Off I go … 4.5 km round trip walk to the store.  I get lucky!  Found a pair - $4.60.  I feel sad they are not his favourite colour.  I feel sad they are not the ones with his fav tv character.  I worry the school will be upset if the sole marks the floor.  I hope they will do.

How did the rest of my day look?

Cleaning, getting stuff done around the house and hanging out with my boys.  Used part of the container of Lysol wipes I purchased to clean the bathrooms and the kitchen (I’ve never made each wipe go so far!).  

My son decided he wanted to eat everything I was eating.  Little does he know I’d give anything to eat what he has available to eat!  My personal stash of food purchased from my $55 budget has a few more dents in it thanks to my boy, but that is reality, as parents we always want to see them fed first.  Clients regularly tell me, “I buy fruit and veggies for the kids, but not for myself.”  I am gaining a better understanding of this everyday.

Meals today:
Breakfast: Cheerios & half a banana (My 50% off bananas are great!  No brown spots inside!)
Snack: apple + a hard boiled egg
Lunch: oatmeal + peanut butter (this might be a new fav!)
Snack: a couple of carrots
Supper: chickpeas + whole wheat pasta + frozen veggies (My $2.27 frozen veggies are … well … a little heavy on the carrot side.  See pic below.  The bag claims it also contains cauliflower and broccoli, but they are few and far between … starting to miss daily dose of fresh veggies and salad.)

Budget update: $18.73 remaining

Nutrition & Physical Activity update:
Fruit & Veggie servings today = 5 (mostly carrots … I might turn orange)
Extra Walking (walking as a result of the challenge) = 4.5 km

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