Eat/drink from Monday through Friday on less than $1.50 a day.
Perhaps you’ve heard that celebrities like Ben Affleck, Sophia Bush, and Josh Groban will be raising awareness (and money) for The Global Poverty Project next week by taking the “Live Below the Line” challenge. I started reading up on this initiative, and couldn’t help but be inspired.
According to the Live Below the Line website, there are currently 1.4 billion people living on less than $1.50 a day (the U.S. equivalent of the extreme poverty line). For these people, $1.50 has to cover much more than food – a reality I can hardly begin to fathom. But the idea behind this challenge is that if we want any hope of combating global poverty, we need to be able to understand it.
So next week, I’m joining Ben, Sophia, Josh, and thousands of other regular people around the world in an effort to Live Below the Line. If you’d like to do the same, I’d encourage you to learn how it works straight from the source. Here, I’ll just paraphrase the rules:
- From Monday, April 29 to Friday, May 3, I must spend less than $1.50 per day on food and drink.
- I can spend the full $7.50 for the week in one shopping trip, but no combination of meals on any given day can exceed the $1.50 limit (and I should continue to eat three meals per day).
- I can drink tap water at no charge (thank God!)
- No free or “donated” food is allowed – if I eat it, I must have first paid for it.
While I realize that making it through five days on a poverty-level food budget will be absolutely nothing compared to actually living below the poverty line, I hope that I can make a small difference in the world by taking this challenge and sharing my experience. I’ll also be donating the money I normally would have spent on food next week to the World Food Program USA, one of many fine organizations involved in this project. Please, take a minute to learn more, join the challenge, make a donation, or just think for a second about what life is like for the 1.4 billion people living below the line, not just next week, but every single day.