Live Below the Line Roundup

F_badge_altThis week, several of our bloggers are taking the Live Below the Line Challenge and raising money for World Food Program USA. These bloggers are living on just $1.50 per day for food and drink -- the amount of money the World Bank calculates as the line of extreme poverty. 1.4 billion people live below the line of extreme poverty, subsisting on $1.50 not just for food and drink, but for all other expenses, too. Check out these post from our bloggers who shared their thoughts:

Jessica Cohen at Found the Marbles: "Could You Live Below the Line?"

Imagine if you took the entire population of the United States and multiplied it by four.  Then imagine handing each one of those people $1.50 and telling them to feed themselves for the day with just that amount to spend.  How many people do you think could actually rise to the challenge?

Jessica Cohen at Found the Marbles:

"Thoughtful Tuesday: Below the Line"

This week I have been living below the line in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the World Food Program.  What an eye opener this week has been, starting with budgeting for 15 meals on just $7.50.  By the end of Monday I was cranky. By the middle of Tuesday I was nauseous.  Wednesday I was cranky, nauseous and so unenthusiastic about the food options available to me for $.50 a meal that I did not want to eat at all.

Heather Barmore on Poliogue:

"Could You Live Below The Line?"

In education we often speak of outside factors that can contribute  to or hinder a child’s ability to learn. For example a child who is unable to see the chalkboard but their parents cannot afford to bring that child to the eye doctor. So, the child sits in the class and suffers. Then there is the child who fears the walk to school because of whatever violence surrounding their neighborhood.  And then there is poverty. Poverty which is the root of the above. It’s poverty that causes a child to come to school hungry each day and yet that child is still expected to learn and perform. I’ve heard plenty of stories of children who hoard food come Thursday knowing that it will have to last until Monday morning. School is too often the one place for a child to receive proper nutrition.

Dresden Shumaker on Creating Motherhood

"Below the line and dangling"

Yesterday was day one on the challenge and it brought up some unexpected emotional issues.

First of all you guys know that I am on a path to get healthy. This means that I have been making great choices about what I eat and when I eat. Eating regularly was one of the odder milestones that I conquered as skipping meals was something I had started doing for any number of reasons. Worried about weight? Don’t eat. Worried about money? Don’t eat. Not eating was one of the things that helped keep me fat.

Dresden Shumaker on Babble:

"Ben Affleck Will Live on $1.50"

What is the significance of $1.50? For some of us it wouldn’t even get us our favorite morning coffee treat. It doesn’t pay for a gallon of gas and it won’t get you a ride on most public transit.

$1.50 is a small number that illustrates a big line: the poverty line.

Kelly Whickam on ONE:

"Living Below the Line: Day 1"

I begin my journey of spreading awareness of worldwide hunger by vowing to live on $1.50 a day for meals. To do this required a lot of planning, visiting a grocery store I rarely go to (Aldi) and plucking things from the garden though not a lot has sprung up already. Today’s meals will include ramen from Aldi’s that I bought for $1.69 for 12, chicken broth, and water to drink. Naturally, I will be soooo over ramen after this week.\

Kelly Whickam on Mocha Momma

"Living Below the Line: Day 2 Recap"

It's Tuesday night and, by my count, I've been functioning for a very long day at work (that included a 5 hour track meet!) on very few calories. I have updated my Babble blog (if you're really that interested in this Living Below the Line challenge) to show exactly what $1.50 meals can look like. Meals, grocery store planning, and cost per serving are now a part of every moment of the day. (*note: CPS = cents per serving.)

Kelly Whickam on Mocha Momma

"Living Below the Line: Day 3 Recap"

This afternoon I was able to hop on a phone call with the Second Lady of the United States Dr. Jill Biden, her son Hunter Biden who is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the World Food Program so that we could talk about food and the lack of it for those living below the line of poverty. It was a great phone call where my fellow teammates and I got to ask questions about the challenge, the work of the WFP, and about how we have a worldwide challengeon our hands. Most importantly, though, about how we have the tools at our disposal to fix it.

Kelly Whickam on Mocha Momma

"Living Below the Line: Day 4 Recap"

There's so much that's bothering me through this challenge. Food is everywhere but it's not for everyone. I noticed at work that someone left a Jiffy Peanut Butter to-go cup in the kitchen and I thought, "That's way too expensive but awfully convenient. I wish I could take along snacks like that." After that, I noticed that one of my co-workers left an empty yogurt cup on the counter and when I bent down to look at it I laughed at the very pretentiousness of the marketing.

A guest post by The Cuban on Kelly Whickam's blog, Mocha Momma

"Live Below the Line: Day 4"

Everyone who knows me, and even some of you who don’t, knows that when it comes to the kitchen, hubris is my middle name. No challenge is impossible, no recipe too big.

Of course, Kelly understands this side of me better than anyone so it is not at all uncommon for her to sign “Us” up for numerous cooking challenges. This is how this conversation usually goes: ...

Jessica McFadden on A Parent in America:

"Eating in Solidarity with Extreme Poverty Worldwide: #BelowtheLine for World Food Program USA"

Eating only $1.50 a day is HARD. Over the past five months I have committed to living more healthfully, and I have purchased and prepared the highest quality food I have ever imbibed. I have lost weight, but rarely felt hungry as my pampered, overfed American body digested those roasted almonds, organic vegetables, sprouted-grain breads, green smoothies, free range chickens and more.

Morra Aarons-Mele on Huffington Post:

"Eating at The Ritz on $1.50 a Day"

For the next five days, my food budget will be limited to $7.50. What does $7.50 buy? Here in Boston, not much. And to make things even more challenging, I'm going to be traveling for work most of this week, including a stay at the Ritz Carlton for the Mom 2.0 Summit. The very idea of staying at the Ritz and eating boiled eggs skirts parody, but cynics be damned, I'm going to do it. I was cheered to hear that last year, the actress Amanda Peet noted sitting next to a colleague participating in LBL who happily pulled out a bag of cheap eats at an A-list Hollywood dinner during the Challenge. If she can, I can.