Live Below the Line for charity

Live Below the Line 2015

From 28th April to 1st May hundreds of Action Against Hunger supporters challenged themselves to spend no more than £1 a day on food and drink as part of the Live Below the Line campaign.

By Jenny Clarke

May 7 2015

By taking part they helped to shine a light on the hunger and nutritional struggles faced by the 1.2 billion people that live below the extreme poverty line whilst helping to raise over £40,000 for Action Against Hunger’s lifesaving programmes. We spoke to some participants after the challenge to find out how they got on and why they took part:

Why did you take on the challenge?

“I wanted to participate in a challenge which connects directly to the cause I am fundraising for and to help me understand better the problem on a personal level.” Harry, 2015 participant

“I took the challenge to help raise awareness of the families around the world who are greatly suffering in poor conditions and lack of food.” Olivia, 2015 participant

How did you find the challenge?

 “I found the challenge pretty tough; I had hunger pangs and headaches and was very tired throughout the week… I used Facebook to personally thank every sponsor and post a daily update with a picture of my meals and how I was feeling. Every post generated more sponsors and motivated me to keep going.” Nadine, 2015 participant

“Contrary to what you might expect, I was never really hungry, but was never satisfied and my diet was empty with very little nutrients (beige, beige, beige). Most evenings were spent cooking meals, preparing for future meals or scouring Morrisons' reduced aisle for bargains. I can't imagine what it would be like if I had to walk over 10km a day to collect water, look after children and also work whilst also living on £1 a day.” Kat, 2015 participant

What did you learn?

“I learnt how food is something we take for granted on a regular basis here when others have none. It is second nature to us to go out to eat in a nice restaurant and we are lucky to always know we have food available. It also made me realise of how much food we waste on a daily basis and the learn different ways that we can reduce this.” Sophia, 2015 participant

“Not being able to eat what you want affects you psychologically, emotionally and physically. I felt drained, tired, and unmotivated, with a low quality of life. You cannot get all the nutrition you need on a limited budget; you're mainly eating carbs. I spend way too much on food. This challenge looks easy until you try to do it.” Laura, 2015 participant

What would you say to anyone considering taking on the challenge?

“I would 100% encourage them; although it was difficult at times, I’m so glad I went through with it and it was a very worthwhile experience.” Harry, 2015 participant

“JUST DO IT. You will learn so much more about the role food plays in our society, and your relationship with food, than you realise. You will help to provoke discussion and thought amongst, and even change the perceptions of, the people around you – and if even one more person takes positive action as a result, we’re one step closer to ending hunger.” Francine, 2015 participant

The Live Below the Line campaign runs until the 30th June so there’s still plenty of time to get involved. If you’ve been inspired by our participant stories then join the team and sign-up today and Live Below the Line, so that others can rise above it.