Can YOU Live on Ontario Social Assistance? Do the Math.

April 27, 2010, 2:11 PM EST

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The STOP Community Food Centre, located in Toronto's west end, has issued an online challenge to Ontarians to take action on inadequate social assistance rates in the province.

STOP's Do the Math challenge tasks individuals to manage a personal financial budget based on income rates that are currently distributed through provincial social assistance programs.  Participants must account for housing expenses, transportation costs, food, health care and a variety of other standard items factored into a monthly budget.

Results and tabulations are done automatically in an easy-to-navigate, online calculator - with helpful tips along the way.

What would you need to make ends meet if your situation changed and you had to rely on social assistance? If you were a single person on social assistance, what would you need?

Would you have to move? How much would you need for rent and groceries? Is a telephone or internet connection a necessary expense? What about a cup of coffee or having a friend over for dinner? Do the Math and compare your results to what single people on social assistance receive each month.

It takes approximately 6 minutes to complete. Over 5000 people have taken part so far.

Click here and Do the Math now!

The Stop Community Food Centre works to increase access to food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community and challenges inequality. From its origins as one of Canada's first food banks, The Stop has blossomed into a thriving community hub where neighbours participate in a broad range of programs that provide healthy food, as well as foster social connections, build food skills and promote engagement in civic issues. Underlying all of The Stop's efforts is the view that food should be a basic human right.

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