Organizer’s Guide

Organizer’s Action Guidelines:

Background: What has the government committed to do?

What has our campaign accomplished so far?

In just six weeks from mid-February to the end of March, the Put Food in the Budget Campaign:

We remain committed to winning a Healthy Food Supplement and ensuring that our Poverty Reduction Strategy supports all Ontarians, including the poorest among us that depend on social assistance each month. We need the government to “Do the Math” and finally address the issue of social assistance adequacy so that people without paid employment can put food in their budget and live a life of health and dignity.

Your Mission: Should you decide to accept it…

Do the Math and distribute to your networks:

Visit our website at, Do the Math, and send a message to the government of Ontario and to your email contacts and networks.

Become a lead organizer in your community and establish a team to Do the Math:

  • Someone with lived experience of trying to make ends meet on a social assistance check (OW and/or ODSP).
  • A supportive person from the local medical community. (This could be a doctor, nurse, and/or a member of the public health department).
  • One or more of the following community leaders: a faith leader, social worker, food bank volunteer, teacher, union representative, someone who is precariously employed, someone who has recently lost a job and does not qualify for EI.

Let us know the following:

  • Did your MPP Do the Math? (If not, what reason did s/he give to skip the survey? We want to report on this information also.)
  • Did your MPP say that current rates were adequate or did s/he admit that they do not add up to a life of health and dignity?
  • How much did your MPP calculate the minimum (dollar amount) of income a person in the riding needs each month to live a healthy life and participate with dignity in the community?

Looking ahead:

Between now and Thanksgiving (October 12) we hope that communities in every riding will meet with their MPPs and Do the Math. Over Thanksgiving weekend, we will ask you to ask families to Do the Math around their own Thanksgiving table.

On the week following Thanksgiving, we will release the results of our lobbying with a number of events that could include:

Tell us how we can support you:

The Social Planning Network of Ontario and all local partners in the Put Food in the Budget initiative wish to acknowledge and thank the Stop Community Food Centre in Toronto for developing and making available the Do the Math tool and web site for use in this important campaign. Queries about Do the Math can be directed to Jonah Schein at [email protected].

Put Food in the Budget is linked to the 25 in 5 Network for Poverty Reduction. For regular updates on advocacy work to push for an effective Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy, go to

PFIB now has its own website

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