Students say $7.50 a day food budget is not enough
Rachel Crane and Andrew Beach were two of four Ontario university students who took part in the Food For Thought initiative launched by the Ontario Undergraduate Students' Alliance. For three weeks, they stuck to the tight food budget to highlight that the Ontario government has not raised student loan limits in four years.
Beach, an undergrad at the University of Western Ontario, says while it may be possible to survive on a $7.50/ day food budget, eating nutritiously is another story.
"It's really hard. Trying to get a healthy balanced diet, getting enough fruits and vegetables, keeping your carbohydrates and protein in balance, it's really difficult on $7.50 a day," he told CTV's Canada AM Friday.
"And that's the point we wanted to prove."
So, they set out to prove that $7.50 a day is not enough, so of course they proved it! DUH! So, let's do some math. 7.50 a day for 30 days is $225 per month for one person. For four people it's $900 per month. The four people have the advantage of bulk buying, not too many single people will buy a ham and eat it for the week, yet my family of four can eat a ham for at least 3 days. Still a single person can buy the ham, cook it and then freeze what wasn't eaten, this can provide lots of quick meals. Turkey works even better because you can make turkey soup from the bones, and then freeze it.
OSAP's 2009-2010 outline for monthly living expenses allots $1,045 for a single student living away from home. That covers all living expenses, including food, shelter, transportation and miscellaneous. Out of the $1,045, $226 is allotted for food, which works out to about $7.50 a day or $2.50 per meal.
The Ontario Undergraduate Students' Alliance says not only is that allotment for food unreasonable, it does not allow for healthy eating -- especially in expensive cities and remote locations.
The alliance says that over a school year, the living allowance adds up to $12,540. That‘s below the Low-Income Cut-off, or poverty line, in Ontario, which currently sits at about $15,200 for rural areas, and it's well below the $22,171 poverty line in big cities.
"Right now, with OSAP, you're $3,000 below the poverty line," says Beach. "So the government is expecting students may have to live in poverty while going to university."
Okay, so they get a living allowance of $12,540. Many students in the comments noted that they might not have cooking facilities because they were living in residence. Remembering back to my residence days, you got living quarters and FOOD for one low price. So, I checked out residences in Ontario.
The university of Toronto has residences
All you can eat meals and even meals to go from the Java Shack:
How much does that cost students?
So, if we go with the SUPER Single option, it costs $14,855. That means a student would have to come up with $2,315 of their own money, but if they go with the double room carte blanche, it's only $11,900, meaning a cash strapped student would have $640 left over, without having to work.
Now, Beach is from Western, so I looked up the residence rates there:
Even a better deal, I could choose a double room with 7 day meals and only have to pay $8,970, leaving me with $3,570!!! Of course these students don't want a double room, so a single room is $9570, that still leaves them with $2,970! These limousine lefties think tuition should be free, heck, they think everything should be free, because they are the generation of tomorrow, heaven help us! With their socialist attitudes, they will expect companies to just give them jobs, whether they are qualified or not. Don't expect them to care for our elderly either, they already think they are a drag on our society.
I wonder if they could use their brains to think about free post-secondary education for everyone. If everyone is entitled to have a free education, then how much would their degrees be worth? A great example is lawyers, anyone can get their law degree, and because of that there are too many lawyers, so most do not make that good a living, better than those with arts degrees, but not by much. Now, open up the universities to anyone who wants to go, more degrees, more people competing for the same jobs, lower salaries. Econ101.
To the food challenged university students, get a few tomato seeds, plant in container, stick in window, water once in a while, and soon, you have cherry tomatoes for about $3, same with herbs. Buy a big bag of rice for about $20, it will last at least a year. Get a box of chicken breasts, usually at least 20, for about $23 with coupon.
Take chicken, cut into pieces, throw into rice with cherry tomatoes, some herbs, and you have a meal for about $2.30 in less than 30 minutes.
This whining about how expensive an education is has to stop. You can not live off your parents all your life, and you can not live off of taxpayers all your life either. Sooner, or later, you will have to get a job and leave the "safe" university environment and actually compete for the first time in your life!
You might even find out that you like it!