Last week was a punishing week for Jazz singer Harriet Eaves as she rose to the challenge of living on less than £1 per day, raising awareness for Plan UK – a charity to help children of poorer countries have better lives.
The past few days had seen her live on a very basic diet of sweet potatoes, noodles and porridge – no veg and the only fruit eaten were tinned peaches which were a complete luxury on her diet.
It’s a major eye opener that an estimated 1.2 billion people worldwide live in extreme poverty like this every single day and still have to find the money to pay their bills! That 70p bar of chocolate we would generally wolf down in a minute then complain about being ripped off as it’s smaller than it used to be – would be like a piece of gold. The abundance of vegetables we have readily available in shops or from farmers markets that we buy and let sit around till it’s brown, going in the bin or onto the compost heap – we need to stop and think…’someone somewhere cannot afford this’ while we just take it all for granted. With this in mind I just had to give up my afternoon 70p bar of chocolate – did I REALLY need it to get me through 3-5pm at work? NO! (and by the way I am one of the ones who’d winged about Dairy Milk) the money saved, and a bit extra, was donated to Harriet’s fundraising appeal which I am pleased to say has resulted in her get achieving her target total of £200!
I spoke to Harriet about the challenge to find out how she felt – “I’m not going to lie…” she began “…it’s been really HARD work! This is my second year of doing the challenge and I’ve learnt a lot. Unlike the last time, I allowed myself Teabags (49p) and Milk (49p) as I suffered terrible caffeine withdrawal headaches last time around, I also put in a couple of treats like Rich Tea biscuits (23p) so that I could snack between my pitifully boring/bland and small meals. However the cost of having these little luxuries left me with only £3.79 of which to spend on food to last me the full 5 days! I didn’t run out of food but unfortunately my meals were very repetitive and non nutritionally rich – still I had food which I was grateful for. The money raised from sponsorship in the last 5 days will make a real difference in the lives of children who often have no idea when or where their next meal is coming from. You never get used to the feeling of hunger and I strongly believe that in this day and age no one should have to – Would I do it again? Absolutely!”
And when asked what she was looking forward to eating most again Harriet replied “A cooked breakfast, Cheese on toast and CAKE – though not all at once!”
There’s still time to donate on Harriet’s Below The Line page perhaps you could give up a cup of coffee a day and donate that money to the cause?
Here’s what Harriet ate on her final day –
Breakfast: The last bowl of Gruel ‘Hurray’ (Porridge oats and water) followed by Tea and milk.
Total cost – 2.8p
Lunch: Leftover Tomato and Aubergine spaghetti AND tinned peaches with rice pudding – extreme decadence!
Total cost – 56p
Tea: Sweet Potatoes to go whilst at a Craft fair
Total cost – 22p
Friday’s Total 80.8p
Well Done Harriet Eaves on completing Live Below The Line 2015 and raising much needed awareness for Plan UK – a worthy charity.