Release: Human rights groups call for increased welfare rates, protection of right to food

West Coast LEAF has issued a press release jointly with the BC Civil Liberties AssociationPivot Legal SocietyBC Public Interest Advocacy Centre, and Community Legal Assistance Society calling on the BC government to raise social assistance rates and address the resulting epidemic of food insecurity and the dire consequences for human health and safety. The press release coincides with the 2016 Welfare Food Challenge, a campaign organized by Raise the Rates to educate people who do not have firsthand knowledge of the gross inadequacy of current welfare rates and to increase pressure on government to take meaningful action on poverty. A number of representatives of the five human rights groups are participants in this year’s Challenge.

An excerpt:

“At least 80% of the more than 35,000 BC children on welfare are growing up in single-parent families, the vast majority of them headed by women,” says Alana Prochuk, Manager of Public Legal Education at West Coast LEAF and also a participant in the Welfare Food Challenge. “Our province’s impossibly low assistance rates mean that many of these single moms are scrimping on food for themselves in order to save their kids from extreme malnutrition. Many of these women also live in fear that their children will be apprehended by the child protection system because of poverty – not because of abuse or a lack of love.”

Read the full joint press release.