Vancouver “poverty challenge” cancelled due to welfare concerns

VANCOUVER — Mable Elmore took part in the welfare food challenge last year, where participants cannot spend more than $19 on food during the week of the challenge.

The $19 is the money left over from the income assistance given by the government, after rent and transportation.

Elmore bought eggs and vegetables and brought the food with her to Victoria.

Her opposition called out Elmore, and took issue with her for claiming the $61 per diem allowed on the week of the welfare food challenge.

The rules of the challenge does not allow for outside resources to help the participant.

The 2017 welfare food challenge only restricts the participants from getting food from food banks, eating free meals with friends, eating food they already have, or eating food they have grown.

Elmore maintains she did not violate any rules when she collected her per diem, as all MLA’s are allowed to claim their expenses when they’re in Victoria.

Still, she said she would return the $244 paid to her by the government.

Organizers canceled this year’s welfare food challenge, saying participants will die of starvation.

They said nobody can buy food for a week with only $5.75 — the amount left from income assistance after deducting rent.

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