I’m going to live in extreme poverty.

Did you know that 46.2 million people live below the poverty line in America alone? All around the world, there are entire countries in poverty, amounting to 1.4 BILLION men, women, and children worldwide living on less than $1.50 a day.

So what is my next challenge? I managed to survive a March Madness challenge which was basically an 8 day, 24 hour tweet-a-thon. The trip for two will be auctioned off shortly for the United Nations Shot@Life campaign.

Now I will be taking the Live Below The Line 5-day challenge of feeding myself on $1.50 a day – the U.S. equivalent of the extreme poverty line. From May 7 to May 11, I will be living on $1.50 a day.

There are 1.4 billion people who have no choice but to live below the line every day – and who have to make $1.50 cover a lot more than food. The Live Below the Line movement is a campaign from the Global Poverty Project and a worldwide effort to change the way people think about poverty. It makes the experience of poverty real for so many of us, who have had the good fortune of enjoying the basic human needs of food, clothes, and shelter.

Lack of food alone has an impact on so many things you might not stop to think about. Malnutrition leads to poor health and loss of work productivity. Children cannot function at school, so they aren’t learning as they should – and they are our future. Diseases are more easily spread through weakened communities. And let’s face it: we are a global economy and even though you might not see the evidence in your own backyard, we are affected by what happens in India, Africa and other countries.

So how can you help?

It’s as simple as taking the pledge and choosing a charity like UNICEF: United States Fund, CARE, Malaria No More, The Global Poverty Project, Global Syndicate, or the Rainforest Foundations U.S. I’ve chosen to continue my support of the United Nations Shot@Life campaign.

I’ve already begun to think about all the things I will have to give up. Even though I’m a mom on a budget and I’m careful what I spend, it will not even be close to $1.50 a day. I know I will have to go to the dollar store. I’ll have to portion out 3 meals for the day. There will be no 3pm snack when we all need our little afternoon pick-me-up. I’ll have to give up my daily Diet Coke and stick to water. Is it even possible to eat healthy on $1.50 a day? I don’t think so.

Join me on my challenge by taking the challenge yourself or showing your support by donating. Here is my page.

I’ll be documenting my experience every step of the way. I’ve be tweeting and blogging and vlogging about what it’s like to live below the line. Please join in the conversation with me:

The hashtag is #belowtheline
The website is www.livebelowtheline.com/us
Follow on twitter.

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  2. Eileen Nolan
    04/18 2012

    Holly, I admire you for this effort. I’m reminded how important it is to contribute to the efforts in our communities – food cupboards, community gardens, health clinics, etc – as funding cuts erode their very foundations. I volunteered last week for a food cupboard with my kids in tow. I love that you’re including your family to raise their awareness as well. Bravo Holly! I will look forward to reading of your experience.

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