When asked what poverty means to them, children said:


“Feeling ashamed ’cause my dad can’t get a job”
“Wishing I could go to McDonald’s”
“Getting a basket from the ‘Santa Fund’”
“Not buying books at the book fair”
“Not getting to go to birthday parties”
“Hearing my parents fight over money”
“Not having a pet because it costs too much money”
“Wishing you had a nice house”
“Not being able to go camping”
“Not getting a hot dog on hot dog day at school”
“Not getting pizza on pizza day”
“Not going to Canada’s Wonderland”
“Not being able to have your friends sleepover because we can’t buy snacks or give breakfast”
“Pretending that you forgot your lunch”
“Being afraid to tell your mom that you need gym shoes at school”
“Not having breakfast sometimes”
“Not being able to play hockey”
“Sometimes it’s hard because my mom gets scared & she cries”
“Hiding your feet so the teacher won’t get cross when you don’t have boots”
“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 backyard”
“Being teased for the way you are dressed”
“Not getting to go on school trips”

(From Grade 4 & 5 children in North Bay ON: ‘Our Neighbours Voices, Will We Listen?’ Toronto 1998)