This challenge is asking families to attempt to stay within a social assistance budget for five days. Ontario Works benefits provide a maximum basic needs for a couple with any amount of children is $458.00; this sets the challenge budget at $75.00 per family, or $15 per day. A single parent would receive $344.00 per month, therefore, their challenge budget will be $60.00 or $12.00 per day.

The budget includes all food and drink, entertainment, some personal supplies and transportation costs. Each family will be given daily challenge cards which will reveal additional challenges to be completed before the end of each day. As the family completes the challenge, they will blog about their experience.

Griffiths Family

Griffiths Family

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Planning to feed 2 kids, stay healthy and organize my driving so I don't run out of money by the end of the week.

My kids and I have been getting ready for the challenge this week and the challenges we will face over the 5 days.  Our personal needs budget will be scaled back 50% and my daughter seems very concerned about having enough food in our house. I've spent time organizing a meal plan so we can get the best out of our money (I'll post my plan and budget separately).

Part of the directives of this challenge is to be conscious of our energy usage, heating and other variable housing costs. So far I've planned out my laundry days as well as cutting my heat back while I am away from home.  Housing costs in this area are so high, people who are on OW and exceed the shlelter allowance of $816/month have to use their personal needs to cover the difference.  I challenge people to find a house for a family over 3 for under $816/month which includes all utilities. I've seen bachelor apartments over that.  I know there are quite a few housing programs available that families on OW could participate in but from what I understand there are long waiting lists.

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