Classes. Exams. Projects. Extra-curricular activities. School life can be both daunting and exciting, but it all takes energy.

A single person in Manitoba living on Employment and Income Assistance (EIA), better known as welfare, is given an allowance of $3.96 a day for food, which must also encompass personal care/hygiene products (toilet paper, soap, hair care, shaving, etc.).

Take the Plunge. Take the Pledge.

The Poverty Pledge draws awareness to issues related to hunger and poverty. The goal is to develop empathy and social action among students, who may in turn become advocates on behalf of Winnipeg Harvest. Students are encouraged to get permission and support from their guardians to participate. The Pledge is also open to all school staff, family and community members.

Could you excel on an empty stomach?

Many people living with poverty are unable to feed themselves. After paying for housing, transportation, water and electricity bills, the money left over, if any, is often not enough to eat a healthy balanced diet. This Pledge is designed to emulate the experience of many people who face hunger and poverty on a daily basis.

A 2014 Pledge participant speaks with CBC
“Before participating in the 2014 Poverty Pledge, I thought the week would be easy—that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Pledge helped me experience first hand the dizzying effects of hunger and the tough choices many people make on a daily basis.”
– Rémi Durocher
2015 Poverty Pledge: Youth Ambassador

Starting your five-day challenge:
Your allotment is $3.96 per day per person; this equates to $19.80 for five days. Put $20 in your wallet on Monday morning—this has to last until Friday at midnight.

Clear a shelf in your cupboard and a space in your refrigerator at the beginning of the week.

Participants may accept ONE free meal invitation during the week, where the cost of food does not come out of their daily allotment. You are otherwise not allowed to accept food or money from family, friends, or strangers. No acorns either.

On a welfare budget, many people experience social exclusion— you may only participate in social activities that are FREE of charge. However, if you have a prior planned/paid for activity you are allowed to participate.

If you, your school, friends or family are interested in participating, please contact:
Rebecca Trudeau, Youth Programs Associate
(204) 982-3663 ext.664

Over half of Winnipeg Harvest volunteers are clients. We encourage all Poverty Pledge participants to spend time volunteering at Harvest or at their local food bank or soup kitchen. Please get in touch with our Volunteer Services department to see how your donation of time can make a big difference.