Despite more than a decade of yearly rate increases and small policy adjustments, people who rely on social assistance are hungrier today than in 1995, when the former Mike Harris Conservative government gutted the province’s welfare system, according to a new report.

Officially, inflation since then has been 45 per cent. But when Toronto social policy expert John Stapleton took Tsubouchi’s sample shopping list to the grocery store recently, he noticed the cost of the so-called “welfare diet” had spiked by 107 per cent, to $189.91.

Meantime, welfare rates — including November’s 3.8-per-cent hike for singles on Ontario Works — have increased by just 31 per cent, to $681 a month.