30 April 2014

Living below the line

I'm doing something tough this week.
My three housemates and I are trying to live below the poverty line. From Monday to Friday we have just £1 each to spend on food each day. For the four of us that is just £20 for three meals a day. 
It's day three and it is hard. This is what i've learnt.


I take food for granted. 
"i''m feeling peckish, oh i'll just grab a chocolate bar/cup of tea/biscuit/packet of crisps."
I don't even really think about it. Obviously I am a student so the budget isn't large but I am still lucky enough to know that if i'm hungry I can go and buy something without too much concern.
This week I can't just do that. I have a set amount of food each day and once it's gone, well it's gone.

Lack of food has consequences. 
I knew I would be hungry this week but I didn't expect to feel tired, have not much energy and be snappy. £1 only gets you so much food so we have lots of carbs and starch but there is a lack of vegetables and fruit. Not having much to spend on food means I am not very healthy too.
Below is our food for four of us for the week...


I am so very blessed
For me this is five days. It is five days of feeling hungry. For 1.2 billion people in the world this is a day to day reality. I have had a very very small taste of what that must be like. It's not fun. I am so grateful I have had the opportunity to get an education, study for a job and a family who can support me.

I don't like asking for things on this blog but part of why I am trying to live below the line is to raise awareness that extreme poverty isn't right. If you would like to find out more about live below the line click here. As part of my week I am raising money for Tearfund, a charity who go to the areas of greatest need helping the people there build a livelihood for themselves, see their own potential and overcome poverty. You can find out more about Tearfund here. 

If you feel able, please think today about what you eat, where it comes from and others who don't have enough to get by. If you would like you can sponsor me here. Thank you.

Thank you to several of you who have sponsored me already. I am so very grateful. 

15 comments:

blupixy said...

What an inspiring post! Thank you for sharing!

Alinor said...

this is so inspiring Abi. we do take so much for granted everyday, and even being aware of it takes effort. i saw a tv show last week where they created an entire menu using only peelings of fruits, veggies and stuff like that. it was amazing! lots of food for thought here ;)

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great post. I'm wondering about getting the family to try this; maybe over the summer. It is heart breaking that so many in the world go hungry - especially children.
Rinda

Kirsty.A said...

What a great thing to do, well done you

Lizzie said...

I admire you all for doing this! I know it is very difficult. A blog friend tried this last year - she blogged about it in 2 posts: http://queenhare.wordpress.com/2012/05/04/shopping-for-live-below-the-line/
She also found it very difficult to do.
I can remember a short period, after I finished college, where I hadn't been well and lost my job. I had £6 in the bank and no benefits sorted out, so no money coming in for the foreseeable future. It was a fairly sobering time, for sure. My flat mate and my mum both stepped up and made sure I didn't starve (thank you!!), but not til I'd tried living on beans, soup and toast for a few days. Definitely not an experience I would ever wish to repeat.
That's why, if I see someone begging in town, I always give them something. I don't care that some beggars are frauds - I'd rather not take the chance. Imagine if I ignored them and they really were starving...
I prefer to take the risk in their favour. If I can afford to give them some money, I will.
Someday, it just could be me... :-( - There but for the Grace of God..
Well done and good luck with the rest of your week.
I must admit to being impressed by the amount you managed to buy with £20! As the person who does our food shop, I am constantly amazed at how little we get for our money.
XX

Ruth said...

I'm thinking of you this week and also counting my blessings that my family has never known real hunger.

Amy said...

Now, it is coincidental you mention this, I was planning to do this at home some time this year as I think it is something small we can do and it also reminds us (and the children) that we are extremely fortunate people. All the best to you Abi :)

Barbara Eads said...

You are so right. We take what we have and what is available to us for granted. I'm going to try this soon---the biggest problem I see is eating out. Seems like all of my social engagements---of which, there are many each week---include lunch or dinner. That alone would blow the weekly budget.

Missus Wookie said...

Sober but good post. A couple of people I know are doing this also, I've done it and it is hard work. Sleeping a lot and very weak tea/flavoured water were how the friend and I who did it together managed.

If you have food allergies or similar it can be impossible to manage. I've worked with charities helping people to learn to budget, to cook from scratch and talk to their families truthfully about money. Quaker Social Action runs that scheme.

BEglorious said...

An admirable challenge, even on our worst days we are so very, very fortunate. Kudos to you and your housemates for walking the walk.

Karen said...

A good friend of mine did the same earlier this year. She's been sharing her experiences at different churches since. LIke you, she found it exhausting. Food insecurity is a terrible problem here. I'm involved in three ministries that try to help in Rochester--a weekly mobile food pantry that distributes food to folks in need (usually over 100 every week), a program that offers housing and meals to homeless families, and a weekly luncheon program at my church. The list of opportunities to help is endless, as the list of those in need seems to be.

Sian said...

That's really hard..all credit to you! Yes, I will absolutely check out the sponsor link right now

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Nearly there now Abi. The middle of the week was the hardest day, I found, when I did this last year.

alexa said...

A very worthwhile thing both to do and to bring to our attention, Abi. You are right to remind us how incredibly fortunate we are through no merit of our own ...

Sinead said...

Though I'm a bit late getting to comment on this, I am so very impressed with the efforts you and your friends made. It looked very tough but a wonderful thing to do. Well done! xxx