Live Below the Line campaign is an event hosted by Bzzagent. The challenge is to live on just $1.50 a day for 5 days (May 7 to May 11). If you do the math, that is just $7.50 for 5 days worth of food. About 1.8 billion people suffer from extreme poverty daily, so the goal of the campaign is to raise awareness about poverty.
You would think a “poor” college student would be able to complete this challenge. However, I can honestly say I tried and failed.
Not to make up excuses, but I actually sick during this week and could not even think about trying to complete this campaign feeling so uncomfortable and under the weather. I knew that between all the cough drops, medicines, tissues, and soup, I had exceeded my budget for sure.
I was going to try to “make up” and re-try doing the campaign during another week when I was feeling better, but that defeats the purpose of the campaign. People in poverty are faced with difficulties daily, sick or not.
Things I become aware of though during this campaign:
- Do not take food for granted! I got into the awful habit of buying lunch at vendors while at work. It is an unnecessary waste of money. Brown bag it!
- I brought up the topic of this campaign at work. I was pleasantly surprised by how pro-active my coworkers are at either helping or giving money to fundraisers for charities or natural disaster causes.
- Food can be cheap, but healthy and fresh food is very expensive. I can get stuff at McDonald’s for a $1, but if I want a meal that is good for my body and will keep my full, it will cost a little more.
- I remembered another awareness project during high school which argued that for the price of a Starbucks Frappuccino, you could give medicine to a child being born from HIV positive mothers, providing them a chance to avoid contracting the disease during the birthing process.
I joke about being a “poor” college student, but really this campaign has humbled me. I’m making a more conscious effort to pack food and eat out less. Also, I re-appreciate the ability to go grocery shopping and cook my own food. It also has given me an opportunity to raise awareness and talk to friends about poverty and how we can contribute to helping those who are in difficult situations.