We all felt it on the first day we Lived Below the Line. The unsatisfying why-is-there-food-all-around-me hunger. But as the days rolled past at a glacial speed, the food stopped being the focus – everything else was. Headaches, low energy, irritability, lack of concentration, cancelled plans – every moment of the day was affected.
This isn’t about food…
In the ActionAid offices, we bickered at each other about what activities should or shouldn’t be allowed during the challenge — was it ethical to go out and do activities such as going to the cinema?
At home my husband and I glared at each other and accused one another of stealing extra potatoes.
We all know this isn’t all about food. The billions experiencing extreme poverty can’t use their whole £1 a day to feed themselves – it’s all they have for shelter, medicine, transport, eating with friends – everything!
But taking this challenge, we found it shocking how much just one aspect of that experience shook everything else up.
Living below the line together
With days remaining, we needed to bring it back to food. We needed a night with friends and energy and laughter. We were also more than curious if it was possible to have a dinner party on a £5 budget… AND WE DID IT!
Seven amazing Live Below the Liners came to our flat and we made a feast of pasta with frozen veg and canned tomatoes topped by two WHOLE sausages.
With people’s left over change, we splurged on cheese slices on toast – the ultimate classy side dish. We even baked porridge into ‘biscuits’ and topped them with jam.
Joining forces to fight poverty
The food was surprisingly good but what’s more important is that everyone was together – struggling, laughing, sharing fundraising tips and failures and getting through this challenge together.
And that’s how we’re going to get through Friday. Together. Supporting one another to support all those dealing with this and much worse every day.