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Generally Recognized As True: Response to Christian on OSAP food diet budgets

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Response to Christian on OSAP food diet budgets

I haven't posted for about a week, but I've received some comments on my OSAP diet post from someone whose Christian name is Christian, and it ended up being a post in itself, so I'll duplicate it here.



Well thats the answer I was expecting. You clearly do not understand-if you did you would not say such a thing. You may very well LIVE on $7.50 a day-but it is not healthy for the body nor mind.

But that isn't the answer I gave you -- it was part of an answer that included the fact that I currently live on a similar food budget myself, and a reference to the Star comments where a number of people said they feed their entire families on less than the amount given to students on OSAP for food.

So why not do some research before you continue to spread false information?

See above. It is not false information. The false information is that students need more than $7.50/day for food. They could eat nicer food if they were allowed more, but it is not necessary. You can turn a pound of ground beef, a can of red kidney beans, and a can of tomatoes into about 4 servings of chili for less than $6 -- that is $1.50 per serving for a pretty substantial meal, and if you find three more just like it then you've only spent $4.50 on your square meals for the day. For 10 cents more, you could add a slice of bread (and you could get more than the 10 cents back by using dried, rather than canned, kidney beans).

Things that are expensive and bad value for money: almost anything that comes in a box, almost all prepared foods, anything baked. These are things we're often told are "the only choice" for people on low incomes, but they are usually much cheaper to make from raw ingredients at home.

Also keep in mind an 18 yr old college student will need more calories than you on general as they are still growing and have a higher metabolic rate.

Calories are not hard to come by. Beans, grains, and sugar are all high in calories.

Everything you said here is correct. However we are talking about OSAP, which is supposed to provide students with enough funding for food and shelter. Try finding AFFORDABLE student housing in the GTA off campus that fall into the OSAP student budget.

I don't know about this so I won't comment. Except for my first year in residence (very expensive for what is offered and, in my case, much of it went to pay extra for unionized labour), I shared a multiple-bedroom place with others and paid between $277-325/mo the rest of the time I was in school.

However why do our student pay so much for a post-secondary education anyways? Many countries PAY students to attend school so they can learn and contribute to society. Quebec, is an excellent example of how offering monetary incentives and subsidiaries for students to continue their education can lead to a better developed & educated culture.

Whether or not they contribute to society depends on what they study, I think. If they study philosophy then it's probably counterproductive. Quebec is a xenophobic museum culture, not a "better developed & educated" one. It is enshrined and allowed to continue thanks to outside funding from other provinces that live in the real world. Though it doesn't hesitate to criticize them, it has Alberta's oil sands to thank in part for its ability to exist as a going concern. One of its main exports is corruption. They get so much from this country, yet they still have massive debt. Whatever education they are partaking in is not working out very well for them.

We wont even LEND students enough money in Ontario to properly support themselves in university. Why is it such a concern to increase the rate? OSAP is a loan, which is paid back....with interest. The goverment MAKES money like this.

If students agree to stop complaining about their debt levels, and if forgiveness over a threshold was removed then I would be OK with it. I doubt the government makes money off these loans -- they are not the ones making the loans, and the programs to administer them that they do run cost money to operate.

Keep in mind also the default rate on OSAP loans is about 3% across all programs. Compared to credit card default rates which are about 9%-3 times as much.

So whats so wrong with lending students more for food????


And that is, I guess, why credit card interest rates are normally northward of 15% and OSAP loan rates are not. It is also easier for OSAP recipients to adjust payments and modify debt scheduling in order to avoid default, and this is facilitated by government programs.

Obviously, OSAP should make allowances for food. But taking on debt to pay for food is generally a very bad idea, so it should be kept to an absolute minimum. Otherwise, you will be paying in 5 years' time for food that you ate in 10 minutes, 5 years ago. People need food, but there are limits to what they need.

If someone suggested that adding their groceries for the week on their credit card balance was a good idea, I'm not sure there are many who would agree. The food would be gone in a week and the credit card bill, with massive interest, would exist well beyond this time period. In this sense, I see OSAP as protecting students from themselves by limiting their food allowance.

Anyone who had a notion of value for money would agree -- it does not make sense to pay interest far into the future on a bill for food that you didn't need.

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