Grade 4 and 5 students in North Bay ontario were asked to respond to the question, What does poverty mean? Following are their responses.
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 being able to have your friends sleep over.
Pretending 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 barettes for your hair.
Not having your own private backyard.
Being teased for the way you are dressed.
Not getting to go on school trips.
-Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition, 1998.
Quoted in "Sociology in Our Times" (Sociology 100 textbook)