Life on $2.25 a day
Pair live light for poverty project
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.