“Taste of Poverty” (Belleville)

On October 24, more than 75 community members gathered at the Meet You at The Square event organized by the Community Development Council of Quinte (CDCQ) for a “Taste of Poverty”. About thirty people held empty plates to symbolize hunger and poverty in the community.

Low income mothers did a short skit on poverty. Scotty Lalonde from Rock 107 radio read out the Quinte Covenant on Poverty, which was made available for all assembled to sign. A framed copy of the covenant was presented to two city councillors, Pat Culhane and Garnet Thompson;

Councillor Pat Culhane spoke of living as a single mother on social assistance and knowing what that was like. She assured the crowd that she would be presenting the “Quinte Covenant on Poverty” to the entire council and it would be signed by them. She also said the council would go on-line and support the 25 in 5 Poverty Reduction Declaration.

Scotty Lalonde also relayed that he, too, was living in poverty and dealing with depression only a few short years ago. He urged anyone currently living in poverty to stay positive and to be assured there was community support for them.

Ruth Ingersoll of CDCQ urged everyone to go on-line or call the 1-800 number to endorse the 25 in Declaration. She also urged people to assist in lifting the oppression of poverty by being aware of their neighbour’s situation (if they just lost their job, fallen on hard times, etc.) and lend a helping hand… it begins with us taking steps in our own community to reduce poverty as well as the local, provincial and federal governments.

The Belleville Intelligencer, the local daily newspaper, and The Community Press, a weekly newspaper, covered the event.

Submitted by Ruth Ingersoll, Community Development Council of Quinte

One thought on ““Taste of Poverty” (Belleville)

  1. I did work in Ontario for about to 29-30 years,however,even working skilled labour jobs still left me raising my children in a state of poverty, poverty meaning “never enough”. Of everything.I eventually had a mental/emotional breakdown at age 34,yes I include work (without pay) on the family farm as employment,shortly after, I became a single father living first on Father’s Allowance, and later on disabilitly benefits,I am now 45, my children have now grown and moved on in their lives and are doing well,but it was a very difficult endeavor raising my children with very little Of Everything, but Love.I was forced to leave myself out of much of what most would consider the normal, or basics of life, like food. For example, if there are 4 eggs in the fridge and you have to feed 2 children breakfast, you don’t eat, it’s much simpler.Food banks were there, and i did utilize their services,however the rule is once per month, and food banks can only provide what they have to provide, which is’nt much, not to mention having to stand in a large, cramped area, in a line with people who stunk of alcohol and body odour.As for my personal life, hahaha,people have wondered throughout the years why a 6′, good looking guy was always single, answer is I did’nt bother looking. In highschool one can enjoy female companionship while having only themselves to offer, adult life is’nt like that,not where relationships are concerned,so I have been single for about 14 years, personally, I don’t care anymore, I do, but I don’t.When the children were little,i could never think of suicide, i just could’nt do that to them. now that they are on their way, it still would not be fair to them, so i just tuff it out.As i write this, i hav’nt eaten, a meal that is , in a bout 4 or 5 days, had a sandwich and something else, i don’t recall what it was, the 3rd week of the month is always the most difficult,I could fill the whole month,as in eat everyday, with a pasta and hotdog diet, but that’s probably just as unhealthy as my monthly fasting. Well, i’m 45 years old, my resume is ancient, and to obtain employment I would have to lie about the medication I must take. At this point, with my children educated and working fairly good paying jobs, my concern is still with them, but I can now think a bit more about myself and what there is left for me with the time i have left. they’ll be no purchasing of vehicles or going out to dance clubs,lol, or out to dinner, unless i really wanna suffer the next month, or the present month, hmmm, well that’s a bit about my life. I think what depresses me, probly the only thing that dperesses me the most, is going to the mailbox, only to find it empty, then going to the mailbox the next day thinking it must be here today, and it is’nt,that happened today. yes yes, direct deposit, however if you owe the slightest bit of money, as I do,they will take it right out of your bank account, I can’t be having that.i could write much more, maybe i will sometime. bye

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