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For Immediate Release:
March 28, 2011

Do the Math Challenge Peel
Local community leaders take the challenge to fight poverty in Peel

BRAMPTON, ON (Mar. 28, 2011) – There will be more people in Peel who have less to eat this week. The Do the Math Challenge Peel asks local community leaders and residents to live for five days on a diet similar to what a person with low-income receives from a food bank. Participants are taking the challenge from March 28 to April 1 and will document their experiences on a community blog.

A typical hamper from a food bank has three days worth of food – which most clients have to stretch for a longer amount of time. Do the Math Challenge Peel is putting a spotlight on understanding some of the effects of hunger. Low income, food insecurity and a lack of access to healthy foods is linked to a range of negative effects on one’s health, not to mention the emotional damage caused by continually having to struggle to make ends meet. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many of our residents in Peel.

Residents are encouraged to join the Do the Math Challenge Peel or participate in the discussion at http://dothemathpeelregion.wordpress.com 
“This is a community-driven initiative that is trying to drive the point home that poverty is a reality in our community,” said Shelley White, CEO, United Way of Peel Region. “We are fortunate to have wonderful partner agencies to help with basic needs of individuals and families but they too are struggling to keep up with demand.”

“There are a number of government and community supports but it’s just not enough to tackle poverty in Peel,” said Janet Menard, Commissioner of Human Services, Region of Peel. “The issue goes beyond charity and allocating more money towards social assistance benefits or resources, it’s about making social investments in people’s livelihoods so they can become self-sufficient for the long term.”
Poverty is on the rise in Peel. With 15 per cent of Peel’s population living below the Low Income Cut-off (LICO) in 2006, up from 11.5 per cent in 2001, this means 167,000 people in Peel are living in poverty. A reported one in five children in Peel under the age of five and close to one in eight of Peel seniors live in poverty.

The Peel Poverty Reduction Strategy Committee was formed in response to the growing and critical issue of poverty in Peel. Co-chaired by United Way of Peel Region and the Region of Peel, its work is aligned with the Ontario Poverty Reduction Strategy, Breaking the Cycle and is building on the Region of Peel’s 2005 Strategic Review of Poverty to create a regional strategy that addresses the root causes of poverty in Peel.



Lisa DiMenna
Communication Services
Region of Peel
905-791-7800, ext. 4519

Communication Services, 10 Peel Centre Dr., Brampton, ON L6T 4B9
Phone: 905-791-7800, Fax: 905-791-0595, e-mail



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