This week, hundreds of Opportunity International staff, supporters and friends are taking the Live Below the Line Challenge - spending five days eating and drinking on less than $1.50 a day in honor of the 1.2 billion people living below the extreme poverty line around the world. Together, we are learning more about the daily realities of Opportunity's clients, building awareness about extreme poverty and raising support for Opportunity's life-changing products and programs.
This is my third year taking the challenge, and every year it is an incredible experience. I invite you to follow along as we share our experiences - and I encourage you to support us in our fundraising!
To kick off the week, I wrote a piece for Global Citizen about why I choose to Live Below the Line.
Yesterday I went to the grocery store with $7.50 jingling in my pocket. I left my wallet – including my credit cards – at home.
I wandered the aisles looking for food that was high in nutrients and low in price. Food that would fill my belly, provide me with energy and help me save my few precious pennies.
I had to avoid my normal staples – spinach and apples and almond milk and pretzels – and instead opted for the cheapest loaf of bread, bananas and box of noodles.
I planned my menu carefully in my head. No more green smoothies for breakfast – I needed protein and calories, so that meant eggs and toast. Salad was out of the question – high-quality vegetables sat solidly out of my price range – so lunch became a peanut butter sandwich. And instead of chicken or a quick trip to Panera for dinner, I was looking at a bowl of noodles. Plain.
I’m beginning to think I’m a glutton for punishment.