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TORONTO, March 5 – For nearly three weeks, from March 8, 2010 to March 26, 2010, students at four Ontario universities will undertake an experiment: They will attempt to eat a healthy, balanced diet while spending only $7.50 a day on food – the same amount allocated for food by the Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP).

Entitled “Food For Thought”, the experiment will be co-ordinated by the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA).  Participants will blog daily on their experiences at www.ousa.ca/foodforthought.

The OSAP need assessment uses a standard living allowance for every student living away from home. It totals $34.72 per day, of which $7.50 is allocated to food costs and the rest is meant for shelter, public transit, and miscellaneous expenses. Over a year, this living allowance adds up to $12,540 – about $3,000 less than the poverty line for a city of over 100,000 people.

“Students across the Province are looking forward to the results,” said OUSA President Dan Moulton. “Given that OSAP expects students to live below the poverty line, I expect our participants will have a great deal of difficulty eating a healthy, balanced diet on only $7.50 a day, or only $2.50 a meal.”

Taking part are Nicholas Gibson-Lockhart from Wilfrid Laurier University, Andrew Beach from the University of Western Ontario, Rachel Crane from Brock University, and Gabrielle Koerber and Sarah Baker from Queen’s University.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Alvin Tedjo, OUSA Director of Communications & Public Relations, work: (416) 341-9948, cell:  (647) 669-6885