Last week Damian Abraham, the singer from Fucked Up, picked up a food hamper from a Toronto food bank and lived off its contents (plus five permitted basic pantry items) for as long as he could. Damian did this as part of his involvement with Do The Math, a program which aims to demonstrate the limits of social assistance and is run by the The Stop Community Food Centre.
The supplies Damian picked up included basic provisions like tuna, pasta, tea and peanut butter – staple diet items to many Torontonians and others, whether your on welfare or not (I for one am glad that I don’t have a peanut allergy). These hampers are supposed to last a person three days but many people on social assistance are forced to somehow make them stretch to a week or more – one hamper per month is available to registered persons at the food bank. By the fourth morning of living off the hamper Damian had ran out of food, news he reported via a new Twitter account; “As of this morning, all that was left was one yoghurt and some super disgusting chicken dogs. So, I’m afraid I had to give up.”
This Wednesday, 13 April, Damian will be joined by fellow Do The Math supporters the Toronto Medical Officer of Health Dr. David McKeown and writer Naomi Klein, both of whom also did the food hamper challenge, and they will be speaking about their experiences. To find out who managed to stretch their hamper the furthest and to learn more about food and income security visit the discussion on Wednesday at 7pm at Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, Toronto.
If you’re not in Toronto or you’re unable to attend resident, you can still help support the cause by signing the The Stop’s online letter to Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty. There is also a lot of useful information on services and support available at TheStop.org for those living on the breadline.
— Speaking of breadlines, what a great excuse to post some Megadeth! I miss my copy of Risk… that album was part of the soundtrack to life for me a few years ago when I still lived in Scotland and used to drive around up to 80 miles to the nearest gig just to see some metal or crust-punk show. Ah, memories. – Brian