Can You “Live Below the Line”?

Next to fresh water, access to food is the most important necessity for humans to survive. Unfortunately, the healthy foods that many of us take for granted are simply out of reach for 1.4 million of our fellow human beings across the globe.

The Global Poverty Project aims to increase awareness of extreme poverty around the world, including the United States, by issuing a challenge for us to all “Live Below the Line,” by feeding ourselves for five days on only $1.50 a day- the United States equivalent of the extreme poverty line.

The Goal of the Global Poverty Project

The Global Poverty Project’s goals are twofold: to educate citizens on the effects of extreme poverty, and to encourage them to become actively engaged in ending extreme poverty. They’re probably best known for their presentation, 1.4 Billion Reasons, a feature that’s been viewed by more than 100,000 people in the past four years in communities around the world.

Ultimately, the Global Poverty Project aims to bring awareness to hunger by encouraging others to walk in the shoes of those who struggle daily just to get enough to eat- a challenge that more about one in seven people on this planet face every day of their lives.

This year, “Live Below the Line” is happening simultaneously in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom. As of now, more than 20,000 people have committed to spending five days living below the line.

How “Living Below the Line” Began

So, day 1 of living below the line. This needs to last me the week (£4.33) + 67p of milk & tea bags :-)

The program began in 2009, when Nick Allardice from the Oaktree Foundation in Australia and Rich Fleming from the Global Poverty Project were living in a shared house. During one of their many discussions about alleviating poverty, they shared their shock and doubt that a person could eat on $1.50 a day. They were certain it was impossible and that one would have to be insane to even try it. However, they decided to embrace the insanity and took the on challenge for three weeks in September of 2009, while documenting the experience.

The experiment was a rousing success. Friends who had never shown an interest in poverty became intrigued by the project, and their awareness convinced the friends to take “Living Below the Line” globally. The five day limit was decided upon because it was deemed to be long enough to raise awareness without being so long as to harm the experimenters.

Celebrity Support

This year the project has received a P.R. boost in the form of celebrity endorsements. Oscar winning actor, Ben Affleck will join the challenge, as will Hollywood stars Sophia Bush, Tom Hiddleston, Josh Groban and Debi Mazar. From April 29th until May 3rd, they will all survive on only $7.50 worth of food.

Good nutrition doesn’t just make us feel better, it’s essential for the health of our bodies. Your chiropractic team urges you to make good eating decisions every day of the year, and to not take your health for granted.


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Photo credit: So, day 1 of living below the line. This needs to last me the week (£4.33) + 67p of milk & tea bags 🙂 by Luke Barrett.  Used under a Creative Commons license.

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