Friday, 22 June 2018

There’s a wonderful new book on the history or poor houses and poor farms in Nova Scotia, written by poverty activist and frequent NS Advocate contributor Brenda Thompson. Things are better now, of course, but in a way not much has changed for people who are very poor.

We first met Sophia a couple of months ago, and did a Lives on Welfare story about her  efforts to provide for her family while struggling with chronic pain. Here are more of Sophia’s memories about growing up on and off welfare. Unable to afford a computer, Sophia wrote this on her phone, because born story tellers like Sophia will always find a way.

Another episode in our series Lives on Welfare where people living in poverty tell their stories: Things went relatively well for Emma, a mother who lives with her daughter in a town an hour or so away from Halifax. Then she got sick, lost her job, and ended up on social assistance. Then her daughter also got sick.

We interview food security expert Dr. Valerie Tarasuk, who will be visiting Nova Scotia later this week. She talks about hunger counts that don’t count hunger, food banks that don’t solve food insecurity, and income thresholds that don’t reflect it. Also, why people who are food insecure get sick so much, even if the illness has nothing to do with diet. And finally, what we should do to fix the problem.