Social Justice Drop in Club

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The Social Justice Group, known as the Lanark County Community Action Network (LCCAN) seeks to foster the empowerment of people living in poverty and their allies, who wish to have their voices heard, through collective organizing and action. Participants meet to discuss current events & social justice issues and to work together to create positive change within the community. This club is geared to lower income community members, but allies are also welcome.  
LCCAN meets at the Table on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday mornings of each month.  Breakfast is from 9:30-10, with the meeting going from 10-11:30/12.   Meetings at this time have a focus on the issue of housing, a continuation of the Housing Outreach Campaign that LC/CAN has been working on since January 2016. Since location and times may vary due to activities and events the group is participating in, please check the Table calendar of events to find out which weeks the group is meeting at a different time or place..

If you are interested in more information about, or in  joining the Lanark County CAN meetings, or need transportation help to attend please contact Ramsey at 613-267-6428 x8.

The Table CFC - Social Justice

Social Justice Initiatives

On January 27th 2014, the social justice club C.A.N. (Community Action Network) worked in partnership with Put Food in the Budget to hold a Poor People's Inquiry at the Table CFC.

30 community members came out to listen to and share testimony about what living in poverty is like and to hear if the $14 increase to Ontario Works monthy benefit (for single people only) had made a difference in people's ability to put food in their budget. More than 12 participants stood up to give testimony and another 53 people gave written testimony. It was amazing to see such a great turn out on a cold Monday night in January!

The EMC also attended and two articles were in paper that same week. The links to the articles can be found here:

The Table Community Food Centre responded to the EMC editorial piece and you can read our response here:

A Poor People’s Inquiry - the Table Community Food Centre“We need to feed each other’s dreams, not just feed each other!”

Those were Bonnie’s closing words last night at another remarkable hearing held by A Poor People’s Inquiry. Thirty people attended in Perth, eastern Ontario, while Joe, Vicki, Brandy and Bonnie presided (see the picture below).

Several witnesses said that if politicians had to walk in their shoes, they wouldn’t be able to do it. “Politicians couldn’t survive a month without their salaries and their credit cards,” Alexandra commented. People said this with anger about politicians’ arrogance – but also with pride in their own ability to survive on low incomes.

But as Bonnie pointed out, surviving is not enough. People want to thrive.

The stories told in Perth were similar to those we’ve heard in other communities:

  • living with a disability
  • spending most income on housing and heating
  • having little money left for food
  • parents feeling ashamed because their children go without extras

Bonnie challenged wealthy people: “How can the rich sit in their comfy homes, eat anything they want, whenever they want, turn up the heat whenever they want – and not be willing to share when others don’t have enough to eat?”

“If all you have is money,” she said, “you have nothing.”

Kathryn added, “I was poor as a child because my parents were poor, and yet they shared with everyone they knew. I don’t see the government today helping people like my parents did.”

“Kathleen Wynne is going to have to earn the right to call herself the social justice premier,” said Bonnie. “She can’t claim it without acting.”

Stay tuned – the trial of Premier Wynne in the Court of Public Opinion is just a few weeks away.

The last two interviews through Project Money on CBC's The Current have explored the links between poverty, health and life expectancy. In one interview doctors are looking at poverty as a disease and prescribing higher incomes (click here to listen). The second interview looks at what governments can do to achieve health equality (click here to listen).

Project Money is The Current's new season-long project about money: how it shapes our world and motivates our actions.

Upcoming webinar Pod-Cast: Wednesday, December 11, 2013 12-1 p.m. EST

Please see the details below and click here to register.

Join us on December 11 from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EST for a webinar Pod-cast with Jessica Powers from the U.S. organization  WhyHunger on the work they do to support emergency food providers to go beyond charitable food access programs and create initiatives that foster a more inclusive and sustainable food system. The webinar will cover key principles underlying this work, drivers for transforming organizations, redefining relationships with funders, inspiring examples of change, useful resources and more!

We'd like to cater the webinar to your interests, so please email us questions you'd like us to pose during the webinar and we'll do our best to get to as many as we can.

When: Wednesday December 11, 2013 from 12 to 1 p.m. EST
Where: Your Computer - Register Here! -
How Much: Free!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

About WhyHungerWhyHunger is a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment.

About Jessica Powers: Jessica is responsible for leading a team of advocates on the National Hunger Hotline and developing capacity building resources for emergency food providers through the National Hunger Clearinghouse. Prior to joining WhyHunger, Jess managed an emergency feeding program that planned and responded to disasters affecting people in NYC and the lower Hudson Valley for the American Red Cross in Greater New York. She responded to nationally declared disasters in New York, Iowa and Louisiana, and, most recently, managed a kitchen site in response to the Alabama tornadoes. She worked as a foodservice professional for over ten years.


About Community Food Centres CanadaCommunity Food Centres Canada provides resources and a proven approach to partner organizations across Canada to create Community Food Centres that bring people together to grow, cook, share, and advocate for good food. CFCC works with the broader food movement to build greater capacity for impact and to empower communities to work toward a healthy and fair food system.


If you want to learn more about Community Food Centres Canada's work to build centres that bring people together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food, sign up for CFCC's monthly e-newsletter , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at@aplaceforfood.

Reflections on the Do the Math Challenge

April Mallett - Community Garden Coordinator at the Table CFCApril Mallett Community Garden Coordinator at the Table CFC

I have a fear of not having enough food. Most people can probably say the same, whether it is an immediate need in their life, or if they were to stop and think about it. In my case this fear comes in part from the fact that I have low blood sugar and if I don’t eat every 2-3 hours my body sends panic signals to my brain. Usually I can ease this panic fairly easily because I can afford to buy a snack when I need one and I can afford to buy enough groceries to eat as often as I need to and to eat a variety of foods. The Do the Math challenge changed the ease and convenience with which I can purchase food (how much, how often, and what kind of food) that I now realize I took for granted in my life. 

I had many learning moments during the challenge. For example, I learned that I find a lot of joy in preparing and eating food. I most often think of food as something that I need in order to function. It wasn’t until I felt the restrictions of the Do the Match Challenge that I realized how much pleasure I get from eating delicious and nutritious food. I also discovered how reliant I’ve become on buying meals here and there to keep my energy up. I was unprepared for the amount of time, thought, and effort required to create meals using only the food that was available on the day that I shopped at The Good Food Bank. It wasn’t until mid-week that I figured out how to make that time in my schedule and create balanced meals that would last me through the day.

But what stood out most for me were the emotional and psychological experiences I had during the challenge. I was often irritable or easily ‘set off’, I felt angry and resentful, and I was often distracted by food (when would I eat next? What will I make for dinner? What will I pack for my lunch?). Linking all of these thoughts and feelings was the sense that someone else was in control of how and what and when I ate. In other words, I had lost control of a part of my life, a big part of my life given that (like any other human) I need food to survive.

Control over food is an important issue for me, so it makes sense that I would be upset about it during the challenge. Usually, I think about control over food in terms of growing locally, growing your own, and in general taking back control of the food system from big corporations and agribusiness.  The way our food system is set up affects us all as individuals to varying degrees, by influencing what food is available to us, where it is available and for what price


Monday May 6th 2013


Morning: Oatmeal and smoothie (I forgot I couldn't eat before the challenge)

Lunch: Leftover soup and cornbread (cheat)

Dinner: Cooked whole wheat pasta noodles- plain (didn't have a can opener)

I need to be better prepared


Hungry, tired, distracted, angry, annoyed, weepy



Panic- worrying about not being able to function without food. Thinking back- if I hadn't eaten in the morning, not being safe to drive

Lack of sense of control- lack of choice in how I eat- this would be harder in the winter.

What do I do about my cat?

Requires time- have to cook and be creative

  • Picked up food at 9:30- nothing "ready" for lunch
  • Thank goodness for the dinner at the Table

I take food and convenience food for granted

I was not prepared and made a bad choice in avoiding taking eggs and milk in the hamper (how to bake? What good is the flour?)

Harder to be hungry when I don't know what/how I will eat next (or even waiting for a meal- I have to be on someone else's schedule)


Tuesday May7th 2013


Morning: Banana, oat, and milk smoothie

Snack: Egg salad on cracker with lettuce

Lunch: Whole wheat pasta with beans and tomato sauce

Dinner: Ground beef, beans, pasta, tomato sauce, onion, spring garlic (foraged)



Hungry, sad to be eating my only apple for the week but grateful for my bananas.

Tired, yawning constantly

Distracted by the need for food



More reflections on feelings of lack of control

Distracted by hunger

Cavalier attitude toward food highlighted- now saving every bit. Convenience and control


Wednesday May 8th 2013


Morning: smoothie, cracker and egg

Lunch: mash-up (rice, beef, beans, tomatoes, onion, foraged garlic) with broccoli

Snack: mash-up with asparagus

Dinner: mash-up with tomato, black bean and asparagus



Angry, agitated, hungry, exhausted, easily set-off/bothered, stressed, SO TIRED



Wanted to quit, wanted a coffee, having trouble focusing on the positive


Thursday May 9th 2013


Not logged




Friday May 10th 2013


Morning: No breakfast

Lunch: Egg salad on crackers

Dinner: Community meal at the Table



Hungry, not eating enough- don't want to work or eat

Waiting for the community meal


Really wanted to quit today, just end early.