By Cheyenne Hardy
Category: 12 to 17 years old
Once when I was a little girl,
I heard my mother say,
If you give a man a fish to eat,
He will have food for just one day.
But if you TEACH a man to fish,
Hungry, he will be no more,
With words of wisdom such as these,
I often wonder, why do we still have poor?
I volunteer at a Food Bank
It is open every week.
Our clients come for food and clothing,
But is there something more they seek?
Maybe they seek a solution
To end this cycle of poverty.
Every week over and over we do the same thing,
Isn’t that the definition of insanity?
When someone lives in Poverty,
The most likely have bad health,
Poor health can mean no education,
No education means no wealth.
Everything in life is connected,
Poor wages, no transit, no job, understand?
And just one little thing can throw you off course,
Like sickness or injury, not part of the plan.
Poverty means making tough decisions
Putting food on the table, or paying rent?
Medications? Utilities? Forget about those
The money’s already been spent.
Poverty is a complex issue
It affects us all in different ways and degrees
Its multi dimensional nature
Affects the strength of our communities.
So listen up Governments...
It’s time for us ALL to think,
Because poverty reduction and economic growth,
It’s all intrinsically linked.
Canada, we can do better,
We need to work hand in hand,
Our leaders, our citizens, the wealthy and poor
It’s time to make a stand.
Together “hope” can be restored
But UNITY is essential
Together we can ensure all Canadians
Have opportunities to meet their potential.
Let’s start with Education, and affordable housing,
Maybe higher wages and lower day care fees?
Let’s stop treating the symptoms of poverty,
But instead, find a cure for the disease!
And this brings me back to my mother’s words
Because essentially this is my wish
Let’s stop feeding our hungry for just one day
By teaching this country to fish!
Thank you to everyone who submitted their creative ideas to help us #ReducePoverty in Canada!