Chew on This! 2019
October 17th is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Chew on This! marks this important day each year with our nation-wide event, drawing attention to poverty in Canada and calling for action through a national plan to end poverty.
Over 5 million people in Canada live in poverty. 1 in 8 families struggle to put food on the table. Chew on This! is a non-partisan cross-country campaign coordinated by Dignity for All, but made possible through local organizers from coast to coast to coast. Our goal is to raise awareness about poverty in Canada by engaging with people on the street, in schools, at places of worship, and on Parliament Hill and adding their voices to our call for federal leadership in ending poverty in Canada.
What does Chew on This! look like?
We encourage organizers to have fun and freedom with how Chew on This! looks in their communities, but here are a few core components that unite our events:
- Poverty eradication – We view poverty as a violation of human rights and dignity. As such, we call for the ultimate goal of ending poverty in Canada, not just reducing it.
- Postcards – Each year we use postcards to send a key message to federal government and policymakers about steps needed to eradicate poverty in Canada. Organizers are provided with postcards for people in their communities to sign and pop in the mail, postage-paid.
- Paper bags – Typically, organizers opt to hand out paper bags with the Chew on This! logo stuffed with a postcard, a magnet highlighting stats on food insecurity in Canada, and an apple or other culturally-appropriate snack. All materials are provided except the apples or other snack.
- Public engagement – Organizers typically host their events over lunch in public spaces where they can engage passersby, talk to them about poverty in Canada, and invite them to take or sign a postcard in the bags provided. We also encourage organizers to connect with local media, Members of Parliament, and other groups in their communities.
Our events are typically held on October 17th to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, though some groups opt to host their events on other dates for strategic purposes (e.g. an existing gathering of people or significant occasion). Check out our photo gallery of 2018 events!
What do organizers need to do?
- Sign up online to order your materials (provided & shipped for free). While we can no longer deliver materials in time for events on October 17, you are welcome to host events in the following days and weeks. You will also receive a digital kit of materials for organizers including
- tips & to-do lists for before, during, and after your event
- key messaging and talking points
- a sample press release
- links to promotional materials and webinars
- Connect with other groups or individuals in your community who care about poverty in Canada to volunteer at your event. Together, choose a location, time, and engagement strategy that suits you, with support from the Dignity for All team.
- Invite local media and MPs to attend your event, if possible, being considerate of the non-partisan nature of this campaign.
- Spread the word and share photos on social media – it is wonderful to see pictures of our Chew on This! community across the country and sends a message to government (and electoral candidates) that their constituents care about ending poverty in Canada!
What’s new for Chew on This! 2019?
Chew on This! is in its 7th year now and has grown to over 100 events with representation in every territory and province. Together with hundreds of anti-poverty groups, advocates, churches, and community groups, we called for the creation of a national anti-poverty plan that was comprehensive in scope, based in a human rights framework, and adequately funded. Last year, we saw some fruits of this labour. In late August, the government released Opportunity for All, Canada’s first poverty reduction strategy. Dignity for All welcomed the 2019 National Poverty Reduction Strategy as an important first step for our country, but the work cannot end here. The millions of people living in poverty in Canada need significant action and investment to end poverty in Canada – and they need it now. For #ChewOnThis 2019, our message is simple: The country is watching. It’s time to show the millions of people in Canada living in poverty that their government cares about them. We’re asking our next federal government to show their commitment to a poverty-free Canadaby choosing effective human rights policies and making poverty a budget priority within their first 90 days in office. With more than 100 groups in 65 cities from coast-to-coast-to-coast joining in last year’s call for a stronger national anti-poverty plan, we hope Chew on This! 2019 will be bigger and louder than ever! Check out our photo gallery of 2018 events to see the campaign from St John’s to Nanaimo and then sign up to add your voice this October 17!