The Food Basket Challenge is a campaign to generate conversation about poverty issues and solutions.
From Sept. 13th to Sept. 19th, 2012 a group of twenty-six diverse and high-profile people attempted to live using what they receive in a food bank basket, a few basic staples and small food budget of just $5 for one week. They made the choice to take this Challenge in solidarity with those who do not have the choice, and for whom poverty is not a game – it’s a daily reality.
The first Food Basket Challenge occurred fall 2011. Thirteen people took the Challenge and thousands more tuned in to follow their stories. The honesty and insight shared to the community was deeply personal, creating a powerful forum for having hard conversations.
What is the Food Basket Challenge?
For one week several high-profile people in Saskatoon will attempt to live off a food basket from the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre. Over the week they will share their thoughts and experiences online.
What are you trying to achieve?
The Food Basket Challenge aims to foster a dialogue about poverty in our community and strengthen the relationships between people who possess the lived experience of poverty and those who do not. It’s about moving past the illusions of poverty and getting to the root of the issues with powerful conversation.
We’re not pushing any specific agenda policy. There are multiple strategies to ending poverty – let’s start the conversation.
What will the participants eat?
Participants will receive a standard food basket from the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre – the same food basket any other person would receive.
Food baskets typically consist of two to three days of food, although in reality many who rely on food baskets must make them last for one or two weeks.
The Challenge is to exist for up to one week using the food provided in the food basket, as well as up to five basic pantry items (flour, sugar, coffee, etc.) and $5.00 to supplement the food basket for the week.
Participants will not eat out or accept free food or drink. To make their food supplies last longer, the participants are welcome to use community meal programs (soup kitchens).
How can people understand poverty after just one week living off a food basket?
Poverty is a complex issue. People cannot understand hunger or poverty by living off a food basket for one week. Challenge participants can go back to their regular lives at any time. People living in poverty don’t have that choice.
We recognize the limitations of this Challenge but hope it will deepen the relationship between those who possess the lived experience of poverty and those who do not.
Who participated in the first Challenge?
For bios and information about participants in the 2011 Food Basket Challenge please click here.
Doesn’t this Challenge take food away from the people who really need it?
No – funds have been donated for the specific purpose of replenishing the food used in the Challenge.
Who is organizing this?
The Food Basket Challenge is a collaboarative collective impact campaign organized by multiple groups and individuals, including the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre and Saskatoon Health Region (Health Promotion Department).
What are you trying to promote?
The Food Basket Challenge doesn’t promote any specific policy, agenda or mandate. Our goal is to spark a genuine dialogue about poverty in our community.
Food Basket Challenge Moderation Guidelines
Food Basket Challenge aims to encourage vibrant discussions, of all backgrounds and beliefs, about the important issues affecting our communities. It is to be expected that individual users of this site will sometimes disagree with one another. We just ask that everybody keeps the conversation constructive and civilised. And of course, we require you to obey the laws of Canada.
Food Basket Challenge monitors all posts and reserves the right to remove any comment which breeches any of our Moderation Guidelines as expressed directly below. Food Basket Challenge reserves the right to our final decision whether to remove or allow any material on this website.
If you have any questions about our guidelines, contact us.
Why do we believe moderation is important?
The intention of moderation is not to censor free speech or promote a specific agenda. We moderate comments to ensure the dialogue, links and material do not include illegal activity (such as slander, libel, threats or discrimination). We strive to create an open space where users feel safe to contribute their personal stories and reflections.
Moderation Guidelines Overview
We encourage your comments and welcome constructive, appreciative debates. We ask that all users adhere to the spirit of respectful dialogue. Food Basket Challenge monitors all posts and reserves the right to remove any comment which breeches our moderation guidelines. Please don’t post a comment which is threatening, discriminatory, slanderous, libelous, spam, advertising, uses offensive language or is wildly irrelevant.
Moderation Guidelines in Full
Statements which are threatening or abusive will not be tolerated.
Discriminatory remarks are unacceptable; this includes, but is not limited to, racism, sexism or homophobia.
Slander & Libel
Don’t make false or malicious claims about other people or organisations.
All comments are filtered through spam filtering technology. The technology isn’t perfect, so a human being makes a final decision on the appropriateness of contributions.
Food Basket Challenge is a community-based, nonpartisan discussion platform for the community. Talking about your business or industry is acceptable; selling your goods and services is not.
Please don’t swear. We really don’t want to have to remove any comments with valuable ideas because of foul language. Different people have different opinions about what constitutes offensive language and Food Basket Challenge will review offensiveness based on severity and context in each particular instance.
While we appreciate wide-ranging discussions, we’d like to avoid derailed threads. Please don’t engage in “trolling” (trying to cause trouble in an online forum just for the sake of it).
Pseudonyms are fine, but don’t impersonate another person or use an alias to agree with yourself.
In addition to being mindful of your own, please always consider and respect other people’s privacy.
You are welcome to include links to material on other websites that are relevant to your comment. Food Basket Challenge may check these links and reserves the right to remove any which lead to material reasonably considered offensive in line with these moderation guidelines.
Do not use this website to conduct any illegal activity or solicit the performance of any illegal activity.
Do not publish another person’s intellectual property without their written and express consent. The intellectual property of all material published on this website remains with the author. Any material published on this website may be reproduced only with the following acknowledgment:
“Originally authored by (insert name of author) and published on Food Basket Challenge (embed hyperlink to www.foodbasketchallenge.com) here (embed hyperlink to corresponding page of Food Basket Challenge) on (insert date published on Open Forum)”.
Do not attempt to upload the coding for any device designed to effect the functionality or operation of this site or its servers or the functionality or operation of any users’ computer systems (for example, by transmitting a computer virus or other harmful component, whether knowingly or not).
Food Basket Challenge asks that organisations or individuals do not petition other users to automatically submit pre-prepared identical responses, such as the words of a petition, as excessive repetition impedes the conversational flow of a forum.
Food Basket Challenge normal practice is to allow user’s comments to be published automatically in real time. In the event Food Basket Challenge does remove a comment due to a breach of our Moderation Guidelines the author will be notified by email (if available). If this happens to you, please feel free to post a new comment that expresses your point of view whilst keeping our Moderation Guidelines in mind. Serious and repeat offenders will have their user registration blocked.
Moderations guidelines are adapted with permission from Open Forum at http://www.openforum.com.au/moderation-guidelines