Living Below the Line: Day Three

‘I’ve just realised,’ my colleague said to me at work yesterday, waving a soy latte from Pret in front of me. ‘This coffee is worth two days of your food this week. That’s weird isn’t it?’

I looked at it longingly. ‘Yes,’ I replied. ‘It’s incredible really.’

Maths has never been my strong suit but I’ve been doing a lot of it the past few days. Everything can be worked into how many carrots or tins of kidney beans they’re worth.

£1 can’t buy you much that would satisfy a hungry belly for a full day.

I’m fortunate that I’ve had enough of an education to be as bad at maths as I am. Being poor is a constant barrage of tiny calculations. But many of the world’s poorest children get no education. I find myself worrying about whether people are being ripped off and taken advantage of, whether money is being made out of them, purely because they’re hungry and were too poor to go to school…

‘But £1 would go much further in a developing country, so they’d not be living on so little, would they?’ asked another friend.

Unfortunately, yes they would. To calculate the value of the international poverty line some people better at maths than me have been doing sums. It’s a complicated calculation but the general thrust is that the food value of £1 here is equal to what someone in a developing country might have to live on.

I spent £5 up front to make the most of my money, and if I were doing it together with someone we could pool our resources and get more. But if I literally only had £1 a day, I’m sure I’d be much hungrier now than I already am. Living like this is almost impossible to do.

“Live Below the Line” for UNICEF by surviving on £1 of food a day for 5 days and help save and transform a child’s life.
Join the Live Below the Line challenge and raise money for UNICEF’s work with children 7th – 11th May

And now you can sponsor me too!


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