Live below the line

Posted by Lauren Bosche Now that Social Justice Month is in full swing, I thought that I'd write to share an important event with the Skidmore community. Live Below the Line, according to the organization's homepage, is "a campaign that's changing the way people think about poverty-and making a huge difference-by challenging everyday people to live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line for 5 days."

An incredible amount of people-almost half the world, or over three billion people-live "below the line" their whole lives, and they don't have a choice. On April 22, I'll take the challenge myself. I'll have $7.50 to pay for all of my food from Monday to Friday. I have chosen to forgo my current standard of living to witness firsthand, in one aspect, how much of the world goes through life, and share my experience with others. My blog will serve as a testament to my efforts in eating and drinking on $1.50 a day.

This challenge will present a particularly rough transition from the variety of foods I have the fortune of eating here at Skidmore. I'm on the dining hall meal plan as I live in a residence hall. However, for the week of the challenge, I won't step foot into the dining hall, unless I'm grabbing a cool glass of water-I'll be preparing all of my food in my residence hall "kitchen" (aka the microwave and refrigerator).

I plan to head over to the local Price Chopper in the next week-with $7.50 in my pocket-and purchase the staples that will get me though the week. I'll have my calculator in hand as I comb the aisles, looking for items that will keep me under budget. For many people that live below the poverty line, access to clean water isn't reliable. Fortunately, I'll be able to drink unlimited tap water in the challenge.

As I've pledged to take the challenge, my family and friends have donated to the charity of my choice. I chose the Rainforest Foundation because I have a passion for sustainability, and I'm fascinated by human interaction with the natural world. I had never heard of the foundation before, but after doing a little research I knew I wanted to support RF because of their unique position in supporting indigenous communities while preserving the rainforests of the world.

For more information on participating in the challenge go to

And to keep up on my own progress please visit my profile page on Live Below The Line at

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