Ontario’s poverty rate in 2009 was 13.1 percent. Over one and a half million Ontarians live below what we consider to be the poverty line.
The child poverty rate in Ontario is even higher, sitting at 14.6%. What does that mean? 1 in every 7 children in Ontario live in poverty.
In 2009, the Ontario government developed a new measure for tracking poverty called the Ontario Deprivation Index. (ODI). This index is a list of items or activities which are considered necessary to maintain an adequate standard of living but unlikely for those struggling with poverty. This is not a list of basic needs but a a sample of items that are common to most Ontarians but out of reach for poor households. Those who cannot afford two of the ten items that most Ontarians take for granted are considered to be struggling.
Where are you on the Deprivation Index?
- Do you eat fresh fruit and vegetables every day?
- Are you able to get dental care if needed?
- Do you eat meat, fish or a vegetarian equivalent at least every other day?
- Are you able to replace or repair broken or damaged appliances such as a vacuum or a toaster?
- Do you have appropriate clothes for job interviews?
- Are you able to get around your community, either by having a car or by taking the bus or an equivalent mode of transportation?
- Are you able to have friends or family over for a meal at least once a month?
- Is your house or apartment free of pests, such as cockroaches?
- Are you able to buy some small gifts for family or friends at least once a year?
- Do you have a hobby or leisure activity?
Although many of the items on this list are things we may take for granted, it’s not hard to imagine how easily situations can change and we may find ourselves without them.
For information on how you can help click HERE
“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of a fundamental human right, the right to dignity and a decent life.”
~ Nelson Mandela