Moving America Forward

Could You Survive on Less Than $1.50 Worth of Food Today?

April 29, 2014
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Could You Survive on Less Than $1.50 Worth of Food Today?
Could you live on a $1.50 a day? Flickr
That's the unique challenge put forth by the charitable campaign Live Below The Line.

When you have plenty of food to fill your belly, it’s easy to forget about those whose stomachs are empty.

And that’s just what New York City’s Hugh Evans wants to change.

To engage people in the fight against hunger, Evans, co-founder of The Global Poverty Project, is inviting people to join the Live Below the Line campaign, which runs from April 28 to May 2. Participants will live for five days on only the food and drink they can purchase for $1.50 or less a day — which is the amount of money some 1.2 million people have to feed themselves daily — and donate their savings to charities working to solve hunger, including Heifer InternationalThe Hunger Project, and World Food Program USA.

Started in 2010, Live Below the Line has had 50,000 participants, raising $10 million for charity. Evans told Charles Lamb of the Christian Science Monitor that people get creative with their limited funds: “You’re allowed to buy your own seeds and plant your own food,” he said, so some plan ahead and plant crops they can eat for the week, while others pool their funds together to make it stretch farther.

The 31-year-old Evans is especially interested in engaging young people in the effort to fight hunger. “I really believe that every generation is called upon to leave a great mark on this planet,” he told Lamb. He believes Americans “have a wonderful tradition of philanthropy,” and hopes that generosity continues with today’s tech titans in Silicon Valley. “I think it’s crucial that the tech community and the new generation of wealth in America steps up,” he said.

A good way for them to start? By figuring out how to stretch a bowl of ramen during Live Below the Line week and donating the savings.

MORE: Could Technology Provide Solutions to Global Poverty?

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