Food for health … Food for all
The ISARC Social Audit
The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC) Social Audits have been happening across Ontario since 1986. Until now, York Region has not participated in the Social Audit, but this year was a different story. Members of the Do the Math Working Group and the Poverty Action Coalition for Change (PACC) group were very much interested in York Region being chosen as one of the Ontario communities in which the Social Audit would take place. Discussions to this effect had taken place but the question had not been put to ISARC directly. That is until one December day in Hamilton at a provincial meeting of the Put Food in the Budget Campaign (PFIB) which several of us from York Region attended. Mark Sussman, an active member of PACC, approached Bruce Balmer from ISARC and invited ISARC to hold the first-ever Social Audit in our region. The invitation was accepted and as a result, we began planning for the Social Audit in January 2010. While other communities, many of whom had done the audits before, were well underway in terms of planning, we were just beginning our process in the early weeks of January. The task seemed enormous (3 months to plan) but not impossible given the amount of enthusiasm that we were about to experience as an energetic, optimistic, and hard working group of people came together from across the region to form the Social Audit Planning Table for York Region. Thanks to PACC as the host for the Audit, and Mark in particular for asking the important question, we moved forward and held a very successful Social Audit on April 20.