Child poverty is an issue that affects us all. There is an African proverb that says, "it takes a village to raise a child," and improving the lives of children living in Alberta is up to all of us.
We need to make a commitment to work together to eradicate child poverty in Alberta. Studies have shown that children who live in families with incomes below the poverty line may experience poor health, challenges related to behaviour and fewer opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities. According to Mel Hurtig, author of Pay the Rent or Feed the Kids, there is more hunger and homelessness today in Canada than at any time since the Great Depression. The City of Calgary reports that, this year in Calgary alone, an estimated 45,000 children (0-17 years old) have persistent hunger needs and intermittent hunger needs that go unmet. There is a need for social and economic change in Alberta to improve the conditions of children living in poverty. A family of four living in Calgary receives $18,395 per year living on Supports
for Independents. According to the United Way, average rent in Calgary is over $600 for a one-bedroom apartment and almost $750 for a two-bedroom.
Considering the average rent along with the SFI rates, this leaves an inadequate amount for necessities such as food. Action is required to raise SFI rates. You can help level the playing field for Alberta's children. Please take some time to send an e-card. Log on to the Social Work website, fsw.ucalgary.ca and send the e-card to the Honourable Iris Evans, Minister of Children's Services.
You can make a difference in the lives of children living in poverty in Alberta.
Take some time to work toward changing conditions for children living in poverty.
- Lori Johnson,