Could you survive on just £1 a day?
A YOUNG Christian with a sweet tooth gave up all things rich and savoury when she cut herself down to a daily diet of what she could buy for £1 per day to raise awareness about poverty.
Sarah Croft, from Yaxley, swapped a packed lunch for a slice of bread for the Live Below The Line campaign earlier this month.
It is estimated that 1.4 billion people a year have a daily food budget of less than £1, and the event was organised to raise awareness of their plight.
She took part in the Live Below the Line campaign between April 30 and May 4, which meant she only had £1 per day to spend on food and drink.
Sarah (22), who is doing a paid internship with Christian Aid, in Gravel Walk, Peterborough, had the same three ‘meals’ every day for the whole week.
For breakfast she had no more than a boiled egg with plain toast for breakfast; for lunch she had one slice of bread; and for tea it was the cheapest value pasta from the supermarket.
She actually spent an average of 99 pence per day after her total shopping bill for the year came to £4.95.
Sarah said: “It was a lot harder than I thought it would be and it is surprising how quickly it impacts you.
“I have a sweet tooth and I’m used to having a few snacks through the day, so I became really sleepy and quite grumpy during the week.
“It also affected my concentration and made me feel light-headed.
“It made me really think about how not getting the right amount of nutrition makes you feel.
“It becomes the only thing on your mind and that explains why people who live in poverty don’t think about things like their rights. Hunger takes over your mind.”
People from first world countries were urged to take part in the Live Below The Line challenge at the beginning of the month.
Sarah was inspired to join them after seeing poverty first hand when she went to Sierra Leone as part of her internship with Christian Aid.
She went to the town of Gbap, where Christian Aid’s partners have set up a food production group that provides seeds and tools.
The £300 Sarah raised during her £1 a day eating challenge will go to similar Christian Aid affiliated projects.
Christian Aid is a religious pressure group whose mission statement is to bring an end to poverty around the world by tackling its root causes as well as its effects.
Mandy Loveder, regional manager Christian Aid for the East of England, said: “She wanted to raise some money and came to us with this idea.
“We have had a previous intern doing the same thing last year, so I think that inspired Sarah.
“If you saw what she ate every day it would frighten you.
“The trouble she had was a lack of sugar and I think that made her very tired.
“But it’s important to raise awareness about what’s going on around the world and I think Sarah has helped to do that.”
In total, this year’s Live Below The Line campaign has raised £335,231.
To learn more about the project, visit www.livebelowtheline.com/uk
BASIC DIET: Sarah Croft raised £300 for Christian Aid by taking part in the Live Below The Line campaign. METP-21-05-12RH4
Picture: ROWLAND HOBSON
INSPIRATION: Sarah pictured during her recent visit to Sierra Leone.