PEI

Lunch and game highlight plight of P.E.I.'s low income families

A simple game and a low budget meal helped a church group demonstrate the difficulty some P.E.I. families have living on a tight budget.

A simple game and a low budget meal helped a church group demonstrate the difficulty some P.E.I. families have living on a tight budget. 

The social justice and outreach committee at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Charlottetown hosted an event centred around lunch on a low income.

Rob Thomson is a member of the social justice and outreach committee at St. Paul's Anglican Church. (CBC)
"We want to not just talk about that intellectually, we want to demonstrate and experience it so we are having what you might call lunch on a low income. Simple, nutritious food that can be got at an inexpensive price," said committee member Rob Thomson. 

"We're going to play a game that will demonstrate how difficult it is for many people on P.E.I., the working poor and people on social assistance, to put a decent diet on the table for their families."

After enjoying a simple nutritious meal, each participant was given $2,175 in fake money. That amount is what a family of four on social assistance would receive each month to cover all their living expenses. 

People used fake money to learn how difficult it is to live on a tight budget. (CBC)
Thomson told the participants what amounts they had to spend on monthly bills and groceries. Various scenarios of what emergencies or unexpected bills could come up were also presented. 

At the end of the game, about half the participants did not have enough to cover all their bills and unexpected costs.

The lunch was also a fundraiser for the Christmas food hampers the church prepares and provides to a number of families each year. 

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