Friday, September 27, 2013

A Variation of Living Below the Line

How does it feel to live on $1.50 a day (for food expenses)?

It's one thing to be told how those in poverty suffer. It's another thing to voluntary experience it for a week. There's an organization called Live Below the Line. It challenges people to eat on $1.50 a day for 5 days to walk in the shoes of those who are below the poverty thresh-hold and to raise money to combat poverty.

I learned of this challenge through facebook and opted to do a variation of their challenge. If I was doing it properly, I would only use ingredients that I had bought using my $7.50 (total amount of money for food for 5 days), but I considered had several items at home that I wanted to use and I was doing this informally.

Using the lentils, oatmeal, milk, beans, rice, apples & other staple ingredients I had at home, I went shopping and only bought $7.50 worth of food for the week.

I got yogurt ($2), cheese ($1.80), tomato sauce ($0.60), spaghetti ($1), lettuce ($1), and bananas ($0.52)=$6.92

My main dishes were beans & rice, lentil soup, spaghetti, and oatmeal. Even though I had a well-stocked pantry (and freezer full of emergency soups), I kept finding myself thinking of food. The food I had made didn't always sound especially appetizing, but after enough glances in the fridge (hoping something else would magically appear??) I would get some of my nutritious yet boring food and fill my stomach.

The money I would have spent on the week's groceries for two people (minus what I did spend on the challenge) was donated to fight world hunger.

I was surprised at how important food became in my thoughts. I thought I had chosen filling meals that would last for hours, but I kept glancing at the clock, hoping it was another meal time. I am blessed because it isn't often that my belly is pinched with hunger, so I was surprised at the decrease in my concentration due to hunger. I had enough protein, dairy, fruits, & veggies, but there was no money for snacks or treats.

What can you do to help fight poverty? What does God have to say about poverty & the poor, and our duties? Search the Bible for guidelines and instructions!

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