Alanda Johnson (left)

Alanda Johnson (left)

Program highlights poverty

North Okanagan students took to the streets Tuesday encouraging people to Chew On This!

North Okanagan students took to the streets Tuesday encouraging people to Chew On This!

the average family accessing the Vernon food bank lives off $125 a week after paying rent

one in eight Canadian households struggle to put food on the table

an average of 451 food hamper interviews were done during June, July and August in Vernon, resulting in $43,000 worth of food given out

Those staggering statistics were shared by the Students Without Borders Academy at Kalamalka Secondary, as they stationed themselves in downtown Vernon Tuesday.

“During the summer months of this year, our local food bank served an average of 635 adults and 306 children, monthly,” said Captain Rachele Lamont of the Vernon Salvation Army Food Bank.

The message comes ahead of International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Oct. 17. Which is why volunteers across Canada gave up their lunchtimes to participate in the third annual ChewOnThis! campaign.

But as many of the Coldstream students found, their message, tucked in a brown bag even with an apple, was difficult to share.

“Most people think we’re looking for money,” said Grade 11 Kai Rogers.

Most people didn’t stop to hear exactly what the students were offering, but instead turned on their heels with the mention of poverty.

“One lady literally ran away from her,” said Rogers, who was stationed in front of Welk-Mart with Erin Swan.

But they still managed to distribute all 200 of their bags, and could have cashed in on some donations.

“Some people are kind enough to take out their wallets and we were like, ‘oh, no, it’s free,’” said Swan.

There was also comfort knowing that some people were keenly interested in the Chew On This! campaign.

“One lady said she already looked at our website,” said Rogers.

The campaign is presented by Dignity for All which is co-led by Canada Without Poverty (CWP) and Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), both registered charities.

“In a country as wealthy as ours, it is simply wrong to allow 4.8 million Canadians to struggle to make ends meet,” said Joe Gunn, executive director of CPJ. “Canada urgently needs a vision, and a plan, to turn this situation around.”

ChewOnThis! events were held in more than 30 cities across the country – from Victoria to St. John’s to Whitehorse – including locally in downtown Vernon, at Parliament Hill and in Toronto’s downtown core.

Volunteers handed out 30,000 brown paper bags containing an apple and information prompting people to consider the realities of poverty and food insecurity and join the call for a national anti-poverty plan.

The Dignity for All campaign has heeded the calls for a national plan and created a model plan, born from five years of consultation with 600 organizations and individuals across the country. The model plan, Dignity for All – A National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada, outlines six policy areas where the federal government can lead in to drastically reduce poverty. The policy areas are: income security, housing and homelessness, food security, health, early childhood education and care, and jobs and employment.

“There is a human right to adequate housing and to adequate food. The rights of almost five million people are being violated and yet the federal government hardly seems concerned. It’s time we had a plan,” said Leilani Farha, CWP’s executive director.

For more information visit and


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement facility. (Good Samaritan Society photo)
Resident of Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement home tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Health has not declared an outbreak at the facility

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

U.S. military units march in front of the Capitol, Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 in Washington, as they rehearse for President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, which will be held at the Capitol on Wednesday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden aims for unifying speech at daunting moment for U.S.

President Donald Trump won’t be there to hear it

Williams Lake physician Dr. Ivan Scrooby and medical graduate student Vionarica Gusti hold up the COSMIC Bubble Helmet. Both are part of the non-profit organization COSMIC Medical which has come together to develop devices for treating patients with COVID-19. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Group of B.C. doctors, engineers developing ‘bubble helmet’ for COVID-19 patients

The helmet could support several patients at once, says the group

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Most Read