Poverty is…

  • Not being able to go to McDonald’s
  • Getting a basket from the Santa Fund

  • Feeling ashamed when my dad can’t get a job

  • Not buying books at the book fair

  • Not getting to go to birthday parties

  • Hearing my mom and dad fight over money

  • Not ever getting a pet because it costs too much

  • Wishing you had a nice house

  • Not being able to go camping

  • Not getting a hot dog on hot dog day

  • Not getting pizza on pizza day

  • Not being able to have your friends sleep over

  • Pretending that you forgot your lunch

  • Being afraid to tell your mom that you need gym shoes

  • Not having breakfast sometimes

  • Not being able to play hockey

  • Sometimes really hard because my mom gets scared and she cries

  • Not being able to go to Cubs or play soccer

  • Not being able to take swimming lessons

  • Not being able to afford a holiday

  • Not having pretty barrettes for your hair

  • Not having your own private backyard

  • Being teased for the way you are dressed

  • Not getting to go on school trips.

Responses from Grade 4 & 5 students in North Bay, Ontario, quoted in Our Neighbours’ Voices: Will We Listen?, The Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, 1998, James Lorimer & Co. Ltd. Toronto, p. 107.

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