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Vancouver woman trying to feed family of five on $18 a day in Welfare Food Challenge

Last Updated Nov 5, 2015 at 7:30 am PST

Elizabeth Nider and family (Source: welfarefoodchallenge.org)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Could you feed your family on just over $100 a week? It’s a challenge some people are taking to show what it’s like to live on welfare.

A Vancouver woman is one of those people and she’s sharing her story.

Elizabeth Nider‘s family includes four kids, the youngest being just one. Feeding them and trying to teach them about saving food is interesting and challenging, to say the least.

But that’s why Nider is doing this — she wants her children to learn not to take things like food for granted.

“I think they’re having a struggle with dinner because while we do eat beans regularly, we don’t eat them every day and we usually have some sort of an exciting side dish along with that. Yesterday, we ate just beans with onions and that was all.”

“My four-year-old just kept repeating, ‘Beans? That’s all? Just beans!’ She just couldn’t get over it.”

Her scariest thought is running out of food.

“I’m surprised. I thought I’d be able to buy more. I thought that by saving on the protein, we’d be able to buy more fruits and vegetables but at this point, we’re basically at apples and bananas and maybe oranges, depending on how things go.”

Nider’s budget for the week-long Welfare Food Challenge challenge is $126, which works out to $21 per person and just $18 a day.

“As much as we talk to [the kids] about the fact they have privileges, I don’t think they realize that. I think when you live it — even if it’s just that one week — you can really appreciate what it feels like and the kind of worries a person has on a daily basis that has to live using welfare.”

This challenge, which ends on Monday, is being put on by Raise the Rates, which says it has been over eight years since welfare rates were raised in BC.

There are more than 170,000 people living in poverty in this province.