There are currently 1.2 billion people around the world who are living in extreme poverty. In 2005 the international Extreme Poverty Line was defined by the World Bank as $1.25 US dollars a day – that’s under £1.
To bring this shocking statistic to life, Global Poverty Project is asking people to take part in the ‘Live Below the Line’ challenge which involves living on just £1 per day, per person, for five days.
For the five-day period you can spend no more than £1 a day on food and drink, giving you a total of £5 with which to buy all ingredients for your meals.
For me this will be a big challenge but it’s a cause I’d really like to support. When I travelled through parts of Africa I was struck by the poverty and it left a lasting impression on me. Anything that can be done to make a difference is important, however small the contribution is in global terms.
Living on £1 per day sounds impossible to imagine. Most of us are used to opening a full fridge any time we’re hungry and being spoilt for choice. We frequently eat out for enjoyment and see food as a pleasure not a life-saver. We even eat without realising it – most days of the week, the office biscuits get demolished and no one can even remember how many they ploughed through and whether they were actually hungry or eating simply because it was an option.
This morning I met a friend for coffee, I had a large chai latte. It cost £2.65 – that’s almost three days’ allowance. The costs add up without a seconds thought. I often agree to meet a friend and don’t even bother to check if I have cash on me, I just take it for granted that it’s in my purse in one form or another.
Can I Live Below the Line? Can you?
The worldwide challenge is taking place from Monday 28th April to Friday 2nd May 2014. I’m taking part with my boyfriend, Geoff. Our weekly food shop usually comes in around £55 – can we really eat and drink for five days on £10 between us?
If you’d like to join the campaign to raise awareness and funds, sign up to take part, pick a charity from the designated list of anti poverty organisations, raise as much sponsorship as you can and then get down to some serious budget planning to get the maximum sustenance from your precious £1 coin.
- The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget. This means budgeting for whole packets of food items such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.
- For items such as salt, pepper, herbs and spices simply work out the cost of each item per gram and budget your shopping proportionally.
- You can share the cost of ingredients amongst a team, as long as no participant spends more than £1 a day or their total £5 budget. Working as a team will allow you to pool together funds and do more with your cooking.
- You can’t grab a cheeky snack from the cupboard unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget. You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!
- No combination of meals on any given day can exceed the £1 spending limit per person.
- You cannot accept donated food from family or friends, but monetary donations towards your fundraising goals are acceptable, and encouraged!
- You are allowed to drink tap water and should try to drink at least 6-8 glasses of water each day.
It’s only five days of your life and it could make a really big difference to someone else’s. There are currently over 25,000 people registered to take part, hoping to raise £5.5 million.
The challenge is to buy just your food and drink for £1 but for people really living every day on the Extreme Poverty Line, they have to make their £1 stretch to food, drink, clothing and all other needs. Sign up and help to change the way we see poverty.
Geoff & I will be Living Below the Line for The Global Poverty Project:
Please support us if you can, it’s greatly appreciated.
Sign up to take part – Live Below the Line