Thursday, 2 May 2013

Living Below the Line | A photo diary

£1 for 5 days for all food and drink - could you?

For the past 3 days, 1000's of Britons have taken on the challenge to live on £1 a day for all food and drink in an attempt to deepen and widen understanding of the challenges and difficult choices faced by those living in extreme poverty.

We have been taking part in the challenge here at and as we enter into DAY FOUR I wanted to share a few of my (picture) thoughts from the challenge so far

This week I have learnt that living within an extremely tight budget means …

1. Food can get a little repetitive

Breakfast & lunch day 1 & 2

2. Food on the go requires extra planning & thought (and the will power to avoid the numerous shops vying for our attention to eat & spend

Home made sourdough bread for breakfast at Euston station

3. General convenience & consumerist habits must be waved goodbye

4. Access to free, accessible and clean water is a huge advantage

5. You can eat reasonably well if you are clever about where and what time (the end of the day is always a good time to get your hands on cheap deals) you buy your food

Guy's veg box from Ridley Road market in Hackney

6. You can do a lot with beans and rice (unsurprisingly the staple foods for millions of poor people around the world) 

Bean chili as recommended in the Live Below the Line recipe pack

However, I guess the biggest lesson I have learnt this week (apart from being starkly reminded of how far removed I (and so many of us) have become from the value & source of our food) is how incredibly resourceful and determined the millions of poor people around the world are. As a friend and fellow Live Below the Liner beautifully summed up:

"As I did it for solidarity with the world's poor, I'm pleased I did it this way [sourcing out lots of different ways to purchase cheap but good produce, experimenting with different recipes etc] because what strikes me about most of the poor I have met is their initiative and resolve. I really didn't want to suffer for them or feed the victim culture that can demean them.  The evil is the grotesque inequality in income and in opportunity, particularly so for women - things I am so very pleased you and your colleagues are addressing the way you are.  So the challenge was for me more an inspiration from and tribute to them than something to make me despair.

I think there may be some sense in people trying to make the challenge a wonder and a tribute to the poor." - Guy 

At we believe that people living in poverty don’t always want a hand-out but instead desire the opportunity to help themselves out of poverty – with dignity. To help us turn this desire into a reality, please consider donating to our Live Below the Line Challenge here or becoming a lendwithcare lender yourself here.

By Nancy Thomas, Executive 

No comments:

Post a Comment