Life on $2.25 a day

Pair live light for poverty project

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

Most of us have no idea how the world’s poor­est peo­ple live, but a cou­ple of lo­cal men have more in­sight after liv­ing on $2.25 a day last week.

Porirua City Coun­cil work­ers Alan Cun­nane and Tushara Kodikara par­tic­i­pated in the ‘‘ Live Be­low the Line’’ chal­lenge, where par­tic­i­pants raise spon­sor­ship for char­ity by spend­ing just $2.25 on food each day.

Cam­paign or­gan­iser the Global Poverty Project cal­cu­lated that $2.25 is the New Zealand dol­lar equiv­a­lent of what 1.4 bil­lion peo­ple sur­vive on each day – not just for food but for all liv­ing costs.

Fruit and veg­eta­bles were the first foods to go out the win­dow when shop­ping for the chal­lenge, said Mr Cun­nane, a coun­cil ge­o­graphic in­for­ma­tion sys­tems spe­cial­ist. ‘‘You re­alise how ex­pen­sive it is to buy fruit.’’ For five days’ worth of food, Mr Cun­nane bought a bag of brown rice and one of oats, four eggs, some curry pow­der, two tins of beans and toma­toes, and some mixed frozen veg­eta­bles.

He found two cheap ba­nanas at a farm­ers’ mar­ket which he used to sweeten his milk­less, sug­ar­less, salt­less por­ridge break­fasts.

‘‘You don’t get a ba­nana with ev­ery spoon­ful but when you do, it’s like, ‘Yes’,’’ he said. ‘‘I thought I liked por­ridge, but now I re­alise it’s hor­ri­ble.’’

Curry pow­der was the sav­ing grace of Mr Cun­nane’s lunches and din­ners, and he calls the spice mix ‘‘ mir­a­cle pow­der’’. His favourite meal was a tin of baked beans with an egg, some­thing he would have hap­pily eaten be­fore the chal­lenge.

No meal dur­ing the week was large enough to com­pletely sat­isfy the nor­mally vo­ra­cious meat eater.

De­spite his for­ward plan­ning, he was run­ning out of food four days into the five-day chal­lenge.

Mr Kodikara, a zero waste co-or­di­na­tor for the coun­cil, said he was plan­ning to gorge him­self when the chal­lenge ended on Satur­day morn­ing.

The men raised $1300 be­tween them for Vol­un­teer Ser­vices Abroad and the Global Poverty Project.

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