I will never forget the day I started my new job at a subsidized childcare centre. I was sixteen, finally able to work and eager to earn a little extra cash to buy some shoes or clothing as well as gain some financial independence. As we served snack to the children, apple and orange slices, along with some yogurt, I noticed a little girl feasting on the fresh fruits before her. I made a comment along the lines of, “you must really like fruit.” Looking up, she replied, “I eat a lot of fruits at daycare because mommy says we can’t afford them.” Suddenly, I felt a little guilty and shallow about my desire to add to my shoe collection.
I have never experienced poverty myself. Growing up, my family was not exactly well off, but food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, was not something we had to go without. Luckily for my siblings and me, my parents always were gainfully employed. According Foodbankcanada.ca, approximately 900, 000 families use a food bank per month. Children, whose brains need to develop from proper nutrients are not getting enough to eat and are losing focus and concentration in school. That is why I was so impressed when my friend Kate joined a caused called, Live Below the Line. The cause challenges those who join to live on a daily budget of $1.75 per day for 5 consecutive days. On this budget, you must buy all your groceries for the entire week. If you like your Starbucks or Tim Horton’s each day, like myself, that would leave you with about .30 cents left in your daily allowance for food. I was impressed because about three items in my weekly shopping cart cost $8.75, and this could not feed me for the week. I donate to food banks frequently, but this challenge is one I am not sure I could meet if I am being totally honest with you. What if this was my budget? What if I lost my source of income for some unfortunate circumstance? Through creative combing of the grocery aisles, and determination to support her cause, Kate managed to shop within this tight budget. Here is a sample of her daily menu:
1/4 uncooked rice
1/3 cup yogurt
1 tbsp peanut butter
TOTAL COST = .49 cents
4 mini potatoes
1 small tomato
1 leaf w stem Kale
TOTAL COST = .90 cents
Split-Pea Soup that I made last night … by making enough for 2 meals I cut the cost per meal
1 cube veggie stock
1/2 cup dried split-peas
2 slices ham
TOTAL COST = .72 cents … TOTAL COST / DAY = .36 cents
This menu came without salt, sugar and spices as there was no room in the extreme budget.
Things she missed the most:
Fruits and veggies
This challenge did not come without its physical toll on Kate. Throughout the week, she got the chills, had migraines, felt lethargic and got a bad flu that was circulating at the office. She managed to stick to her goal and continued to raise money for her cause. Kate sums up why she took on this challenge best. I have been blessed with loving friends and family, health and a career, so I have a responsibility. No one should have to live on $1.75 CDN a day…NO ONE? Please help me bring global aware to extreme poverty.
Thanks, Kate. Your dedication and compassion has made me aware.
visit Kate’s homepage at https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/katmooremedia to learn more about this cause.