Bif Naked and Jenny Kwan with members of the Raise the Rates Coalition launch the 2015 Welfare Food Challenge at the Aboriginal Front Door on Oct 27th, photo by Jean Swanson

Take the 2016 Welfare Food Challenge!

R to L: Harold Lavender, Bif Naked, Bill Hopwood, Jenny Kwan, and Fraser Doke at 2015 Food Challenge.  Photo by Jean Swanson

The 5th Annual Welfare Food Challenge will be start on October 16, 2016 and runs for one week.

Please consider taking it this year. E-mail Bill Hopwood at bill50 [at] for more info

Guidelines for Participants

Thank you for agreeing to take the Challenge.

The Challenge runs for 7 days .

During that week, participants will only eat the food they can buy with $18 dollars.

Welfare Food Challenge participants will be asked not to accept any kind of charity or other food not coming out of their $18 dollar budget – so no using food banks, accessing free meals through charities or friends, eating food you already have, or eating food you have grown. After all the government thinks that $610 a month is enough to live on and many people in BC on welfare do not have access to charity.

Families, classes and other groups may choose to participate together and share resources. Challenge takers can get together with other challenge-takers to eat a meal together.


Share that you are taking the Challenge with others. Tell your fellow students; work colleagues; other members of organizations you are part of – your community group, union, faith community, etc; and friends, neighbours and family. Invite them to take the Challenge as well.

And don’t forget to encourage everyone to sign the petition!

Participants are asked to document their experiences and help to publicize them. This can include:

  • Writing blog posts for the Welfare Food Challenge website describing what you ate, how much it cost, and photos of the food. Also sharing your thoughts feelings, what you miss, your shopping experience, etc.
  • Use social media such as Facebook, Pinterest & Instagram to publicize your experiences.
  • Perhaps attend a news conference and speak to the media about the challenge.
  • Sharing your experiences with your friends, family, community members, the media and policy makers.
  • Documenting your thoughts at the end of the challenge, any difficulties you faced, and how this relates to the experiences of people who always have to get by on this amount of money.

If you cheat – have extra food – please own up.

If you feel you cannot continue with the Challenge, please stop as we do not want people suffering serious health consequences. We ask that you post a blog explaining that you have stopped and saying why. Of course people on welfare have no such option, they cannot get extra money.

Good luck and thank you, on behalf of the poor of BC.