People are going hungry on the 'ODSP Diet'
A single person on ODSP receives only $1,169/month. This is far below what's needed to meet their basic needs. The Ontario Government's planned 5% increase to ODSP is not enough to even keep up with rising inflation, much less keep people out of poverty.
Send a letter to your MPP now in support of doubling ODSP rates, or learn more about why this is important by reading more below.
No one needs a food bank...
...until they do.
Disabilities can happen to anyone at any point in their life and for many reasons. It could be a genetic predisposition, an illness with lasting effects, or as the result of a catastrophic accident.
For many people, a disability may limit or entirely prevent them from working. Research shows that Canadians with disabilities are less likely to be employed, and more likely to live in poverty.
1 in 3 food bank visitors rely upon disability supports like ODSP as their primary source of income.
By the numbers
of food bank visitors in Ontario rely on disability benefits as their primary source of income. Most food bank visitors have less than $100 left over after paying for housing and utilities.
is the maximum amount a single person on ODSP receives to cover their expenses, including rent, food, transportation, and other basic necessities.
ODSP is falling further behind the cost of living
Even though over half a million Ontarians rely on the Ontario Disability Support Program, the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) is the 'program of last resort' for those who are not eligible for other disability supports, like employer benefits or WSIB. Recipients must be in deep financial need to even qualify.
While ODSP originally helped to keep people with disabilities above the poverty line, decades of austerity measures and frozen support rates have caused the support provided through the program to fall further and further behind the rising cost of living.
While the Government of Ontario has committed to raising rates by 5%, this is lower than the 8% inflation rate over the last year, and only provides an extra $58 per month. As a result, people with disabilities will continue to live below the poverty line and fall deeper into economic crisis.
Could you live on a potato a day?
A recent news article reported that many ODSP recipients find themselves struggling to survive and have no choice but to live on what is referred to as the 'ODSP diet' : a potato a day, or instant coffee as an appetite suppressant.
While food banks are working hard to ensure that Ontarians have access to emergency food supports, and do not have to live on a only potato a day, this is not enough.
Ontarians must tell their MPPs to increase ODSP rates immediately. A 5% increase is not enough.