For the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, volunteers across the Island will pass out “Chew on This” bags containing an apple, refrigerator magnet and a post card to be sent to the prime minister of Canada.
The P.E.I. portion of the cross-country event is sponsored by the P.E.I. Coalition for a Poverty Eradication Strategy and the MacKillop Centre for Justice. In Summerside, volunteers will be stationed at Sobeys and Atlantic Superstore.
In Canada, 4.8 million people live in poverty. Most of the adults living in poverty are employed. The Island’s poverty rate for children under six was 21.6 per cent according to 2015 statistics, while the overall child poverty rate was 17.8 per cent.
The sponsoring companies for Chew on This have held nationwide hearing on poverty reduction and eradication strategies. One of these held in Charlottetown, asked the federal government for a stronger social safety net, which among other things, would transform the social assistance system.
High on their priority list was a housing strategy, more assistance for mental health, the right to food as a human, universal Pharmacare, increases in minimum wage to a living wage as well more jobs and universal, affordable child care.
There will also be teams distributing the bags in Charlottetown, at the corners of Kent and Queen, Kent and University and Queen and Water Streets. As well as Cornwall in front of the grocery store and near Tim Horton’s.
For further information call the MacKillop Centre for Social Justice at 902-388-2693.