Do the Math

Do the Math survey

10,000 people in Ontario put themselves in the shoes of a single person on social assistance and calculated they would require a minimum monthly income of $1,500 to ensure a life of health and dignity. MPPs from all three parties who completed the same survey said a minimum monthly income of $1,340 is required.

Do the Math challenge

The Stop Community Food Centre and the campaign to Put Food in the Budget came together for the Do The Math campaign. This campaign asked participants - including Torontonians Dr. David McKeown, Naomi Klein, and Damian Abraham - to compare their monthly budget to the real-life earnings of low-income people in Ontario, asking the question: What kind of things do you imagine you would have to do without while living on social assistance? You can learn more about the campaign and the participants on this website. 


STEP 1: Start by taking the survey and Do the Math. 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.

If you are convinced that social assistance is inadequate to live with health and dignity, you will have a chance to make your voice heard.

1,000 people in 26 communities across Ontario live on a "food bank diet" for one week and tell friends, family, co-workers and media how difficult it is.

Municipalities in Ontario pass a resolution to support a social assistance rate increase

Twenty-eight municipalities (representing more than four million people) endorse the demand for an immediate $100-a-month increase in social assistance. (2009 - 2010)
To find the original Do the Math survey hosted by the Stop Community Food Centre, click here.

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