Name: Anya Thomas

Occupation: Food Services Worker

Anya lives in Surrey with her husband and two children. She works full-time in food services at a residential care facility in Vancouver. She earns $15 an hour and receives some extended health benefits but she is still struggling to make ends meet. The commute to work costs a lot and takes time away from taking care of her children. She cannot afford before and after school care so her mother-in-law looks after the children during those times.

We support a living wage, which is above the poverty line but still only provides a bare-bones budget. It reflects what a family (two earners, two children) needs to meet their basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, a used car, child care expenses, health care not included in medicare, MSP monthly premiums, and taxes. For Vancouver, it is now $19.14.

“We’re just about doing ok every month. But, if something happens, like the car breaks down, then we’re in trouble… I do worry about the future.”