A mother earning $ 40,000 needs of the food bank

News 14 March, 2018
  • Photo Martin Alarie
    Melanie Lachaine with his daughter Tanya, 14 years old, behind the food received at the food bank.

    Marie-Eve Dumont

    Wednesday, 14 march, 2018 01:00

    Wednesday, 14 march, 2018 01:00

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    The mother of a family who earns $ 40,000 per year was found overnight to have to go search for them every week a basket to the food bank, after its separation, so that his children will lack nothing.

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    “Admit that you need help and go get it, it is very difficult. It really has been necessary that I reach the bottom, that I decided to go there because the well-being of my children would be affected, ” said Melanie Lachaine, mother of two children of 11 and 14 years in custody.

    The Journal reported this weekend, the experiment carried out by a wealthy family who was asked to cut half the budget allocated to food, such as whether the parents earned all of a sudden the minimum wage. They have experienced the stress associated with this radical change in their habits, and had difficulty to organize the first few days.

    Rent paid only

    Ms. Lachaine, who worked as an administrative assistant in a transport company at the rate of 40 hours per week, split in October last of his spouse, with whom they formed a blended family of four children.

    “I was to pay only the housing and the high payouts of the big seven-seater car and we had to carry all of the world. I don’t live in luxury, I have the basic cable and a cell phone “, she says.

    Once all the accounts paid, he still has $ 100 a week for groceries, pharmaceuticals and gasoline.

    “I fed my children before I feed. During the first two months, I was eating virtually just toast, ” recalls the wife of 33 years.

    It was seeing that she had nothing to put on the table for Christmas and nothing to buy gifts that she has swallowed his pride and decided to seek help.

    But two organizations have not wanted to give him food because it is above the threshold of low income.

    “Deemed “

    “I was immediately denied and I was immediately judged. I was told that as I was earning 40 000 $, I do not need help. I have been so insulted. You don’t know my personal situation, you don’t know all that I have to pay, where I went to get here, ” laments Ms. Lachaine.

    The mother of a family has finally found a listening ear with the organization Food for all, in Longueuil.

    This one gives him several bags each week, which contain, among others, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meat, when there are a.

    In exchange for three or four hours of volunteer work per week, she can get her basket at half price, or 6 $ rather than 12 $.

    “Since I’m going to Food for all, I’m still over eating, on the contrary, I’m eating very well, I give it to my neighbor, who is off work with two children, when I too “, she adds.

    Ms. Lachaine complete his grocery store running the special for the cereal of the children, hygiene products and household goods. Her bread, she buys it directly from the factory of sliced bread all around his employment, to $ 1.75 rather than the $ 3 or $ 4 in the grocery store.

    “I eat mainly pork and Italian sausages. A little bit of beef from time to time, because I have no choice since I fell in anemic severe there is a year and a half, but not seafood, it is much too expensive, ” she insists.

    As the budget for food is limited, it is still more restricted, or even non-existent, for the family outings.

    “My boss keeps me all the bottles from the office. We are going to sell and put the sub in the piggy bank family, and they are used to pay for a little luxury, such as an outing to the cinema “, she says.

    Social assistance enhanced

    In a few days, Quebec is expected to introduce a bill that will allow those who cannot work due to a physical or mental to have access to an income to cover their basic needs.

    We want to apply the government’s action Plan for the economic inclusion and social participation 2017-2023, presented in December.

    These people who have “severe constraints to employment” for at least six years will be the amount that is paid by the social assistance gradually increase until 2023, to correspond with the Extent of the consumption basket.


    This measure establishes the amount necessary for food, clothing, shoes, transportation, housing and other basic expenses. For a single person, it is a little more than $ 18,000, while the actual amount paid is about $12,000.

    In Quebec, 84 000 people would be affected by this increase in revenue, or approximately 10% of the beneficiaries of social assistance.

    For the Coalition for a poverty-free Québec, if this measure is implemented as announced, it will be a good news, even though there is still work to do for the 700,000 other people living on social assistance.