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Social Development Council Presents Second 'Do The Math' Challenge

Media Release
Social Development Council of Cornwall & Area

Social Development Council Presents Second
Provincial election candidates Mark MacDonald and Jim McDonell have agreed to join the Social Development Council of Cornwall & Area to raise awareness and get a first-hand taste of what it feels like to make the impossible choice between rent and food by participating in the second "Do The Math" Challenge.
PHOTO CREDIT - SDCCornwall.ca

Cornwall - Sep. 26, 2011 - Provincial election candidates Mark MacDonald and Jim McDonell have agreed to join the Social Development Council of Cornwall & Area to raise awareness and get a first-hand taste of what it feels like to make the impossible choice between rent and food by participating in the second "Do The Math" Challenge (DTM2).

  DTM2 is a 5 day challenge of surviving only on the contents of a food bank hamper where thousands of Ontarians participated throughout the year since last fall and came together to bring awareness around poverty and the existence of widespread food insecurity and chronic illness related to poor nutrition.

This year, the Social Development Council of Cornwall and area’s local “do the math” team will be launching its 2nd challenge on Wednesday September 28th, 2011 starting at 9 am at the Agape Centre were the participants will start the challenge with an actual appointment with the food bank to pick up their challenge hamper. 

“With last year’s overwhelming response and overall empowering experience, and with the support earlier this summer from Cornwall City Council’s municipal resolution to support the Put Food in the Budget's call for the $100 per month Healthy Food Supplement, we felt it necessary to launch DTM2 again this fall”, says campaign leader Michelle Gratton.

Last year's challenge participants included St-Lawrence College Professor Jody Souka-Marleau, Upper Canada Leger Centre for Education and Training Executive Director Carmen Cousineau, DreamBuilder Studios Owner Mark Owen and City of Cornwall Mayor Bob Kilger where these participants lived exclusively off the contents of a food bank hamper. The local Challenge was one of many throughout the province, as well as the Provincial “Do the Math Challenge” where MPP Jim Brownell commendably participated. These participants brought much attention to the unfortunate choices people on social assistance need to make every day and that a well balanced diet is unattainable for far too many.

The community is once again invited to participate in this 5 day long hands-on awareness piece with their friends and family. Followers and supporters will be able to support the participants, leave comments and hear about the entire experience by following along on the SCD's Community Blog site

Initially launched in August 2009, this campaign features an interactive website where visitors are asked to add up the monthly expenses they think necessary for a single person on social assistance. This budgetary exercise vividly illustrates that, after housing, clothing and transportation, most people have no money left over for food and must rely on food banks and drop-in meals to survive. More than 7,000 people have done the math online and thousands of others have signed Do the Math postcards addressed to the Premier of Ontario. These supporters joined the SDC in asking the provincial government to immediately introduce a $100/month Healthy Food Supplement for all adults on social assistance and to establish a clear and transparent process to set rates based on what it actually costs to live a frugal, but healthy and dignified, life in Ontario.

For more information on the campaign or to find out how you can participate, please contact the Social Development Council at 613.930.0211 or mgratton@sdccornwall.ca.


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