Live below the line – Metiria

Today I started the Live Below the Line challenge where I spend no more than $2.25 a day for 5 days. Please donate to help raise funds to eliminate poverty around the world.

Thankfully, Jan and Denise are doing it too, which will make it better and easier because we are allowed to combine funds. I’m not worried about eating less, lord knows I have enough stored, but I do think I am at real risk of forgetting.

I am always astounded by how much food there is around. Along most city streets one out of every three or four shops sells food. There is a great abundance of food in most of our lives. And if we are privileged enough to have enough, we just dont see that abundance.

Many years ago, I was doing it hard, living in Wellington on the dole. One night I had 2 bucks left and I was really hungry, so I bought a pie at the service station up the road and it was foul, genuinely inedible, and I cried. I was too young and too miserable to take it back. And I was furious, no money, no food, not a chance in hell of anything changing. There was food everywhere but, on that day, none for me.

And thats what I dont want to forget. There is food everywhere and now, like many, I buy food all the time without ever thinking about how much there is around me. Or it’s real cost. Or about those who dont have enough to buy it, here and elsewhere.

I will be angry with myself if I get distracted and forget that I am on this challenge. It will indicate a blasé attitude to food that can’t be justified in an increasingly unequal world, let alone and increasingly unequal country, where kids go everyday seeing all this food around them but not having enough money for it. And going hungry.

I am raising funds for Oxfam, who support great work overseas, but in NZ as well. I hope you help me raise money, by donating to the campaign https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/metiria

Jan, Denise and Metiria LBTL Lunch

30 thoughts on “Live below the line – Metiria

  1. Good on you, Like others it would be great to know how you went!

    My 12yo daughter also took up the challenge, the goal to raise awareness. She spent and so much time working out the cost of various things. At the end of the five days her response was … I no longer like raw carrots. When we talked about it at the end of her 5 days some of the things we talk about were although you can eat and feel full, it is not something that would be sustainable over a long period of time and meet the nuturitional needs of a child. The other thing that stuck with my daughter was the number of teachers at her school who said they could never do something like that and coudn’t possibly imagine being so finanically restricted when it came to food.

  2. So Metiria – what happened?

    Did you bail out on the first day?

    Did you last five days?

    If so, what did you eat? What tips do you have

  3. My daughter’s stuck with it and has been cooking rice and oatmeal and eating carrots raw, in the main. Today, she’s providing breakfast for her whole high school (Aparima College) and running a morning of presentations and games to strengthen the students understanding of the importance of good diet and avoiding poverty. You should be able to see that on CampbellLive tonight.

  4. BJ says “I reckon oatmeal is a good change from rice, and pasta is also pretty cheap calories. $2.25? I wonder how they work out the “New Zealand Equivalent”.

    How about a new tv show “Masterchef $2.25 a day”

  5. Yet it’s time I showed up here some more – with Winnie touting his allegiance – I feel the integrity of the Greens will become ever more significant – a thing I admire greatly!
    Had enough of the ‘Votes 4 Sale’ Parties – there are now at least two government members who shouldn’t be there!

  6. Ok Fly – will get your mailing address under separate cover – the Book is set in your area after all – mentioned it’s rarity only so it doesn’t wind up as kindling (sorry about the minor hi-jack Frog)

  7. Andrew says, of Metiria’s commitment to the poor, that she doesn’t care about the poor.
    “I know that’s harsh but I can see where she’s at”, is what he says.

    I dread to say it, Andrew, but I think you are relying again on your demonstrably faulty ‘intuition’.

    My suggestion: engage your brain and think your way through it, Andrew.

  8. Hello Mark! It’s very good to hear from you, confirming that you are still about the place. This is good news. I’d very much like to read your book, especially if it was opened on your kitchen table at the time :-)
    If that occurs during the winter time, we could keep ourselves warm by setting fire to any bills (rate or insurance) that might have accrued over time. Perhaps too, we could share a meal of rice, gluttonously scoffing all $3.20 worth of it in a single sitting!

  9. greenfly says “You will have to eat less.”

    If you can eat $1.70 of rice (500g or 7 adult portions) in a day, then you’re being a gluton.

    There’s plenty of ways you could spend $2.25 a day and be stuffed full to the point of not being able to finish it all – as mentioned previously, most are pretty boring.

  10. greenfly,

    She probably doesn’t. Not on a serious level, anyway. There’s a difference between people who proudly “ride the white horse” and people who give a shit for real. And there is a functional difference between the types. One solves problems – the other just waves the flag.

    I know that’s harsh but I can see where she’s at. She’s ‘innocent’ – but not serious.

  11. Hullo Fly – still got a book here for you……ideally – one must empty the house of food and get rid of the car…..oh! and wait for bill time to come round (ideally with Rates and Insurance)

  12. Photonz1

    You will have to eat less. If you can find someone who is taking part in Living Below the Line who can say they are able to eat as much or more than they usually eat, Iĺl accept your proclamation, but for now, I believe you are completely wrong.

  13. Andrew said: People who care about poverty for real don’t play silly games with their personal diet.

    I take you to mean, Andrew, that Metiria is playing a silly game with her personal diet (by taking part in Living Below the Line) and therefore doesnt care about poverty.) Am I reading you right?

  14. I reckon oatmeal is a good change from rice, and pasta is also pretty cheap calories. $2.25? I wonder how they work out the “New Zealand Equivalent”.

    There’s not a lot of fruit at that price unless you cut a deal with a local tree. This country is pretty good that way in some seasons.

  15. Since I started volunteering for Supergrans I’ve become acutely aware of what it takes to feed people on a budget. It’s a worry for sure as much of what lower income families end up feeding themselves is not nutritious nor tasty to eat. But it’s quick, easy and available. It’s also mostly not really food as I would know it but a manufactured synthetic version – believe me low income families are not clammering in the grains,pulses and veg aisle. It does my head in to think of ideas to help. I think challenges such as this are a great way to raise consciousness but do painfully little to have much impact where it really counts in the homes and communities were poor nutrition is a public health disaster unfurling.

  16. Metiria says “I’m not worried about eating less,..”

    You don’t have to eat less – a $1.70 on a bag of rice will take several days to eat. It’s really boring – but you won’t go hungry.

    The problem is that living in the first world, a temptation like a coffee or a wine can blow over half your weeks budget. And if there’s anything in your fridge or pantry, that’s going to make it really hard as well.

  17. One night I had 2 bucks left and I was really hungry, so I bought a pie at the service station up the road and it was foul, genuinely inedible, and I cried. I was too young and too miserable to take it back. And I was furious, no money, no food, not a chance in hell of anything changing.

    But it did change didn’t it.

    Perhaps without that experience, you wouldn’t be where you are today. The fact that you remember it probably means it was an important marker in your life, I also have several of those ‘markers’ from my time on the dole and I value them as a necessary developmental process.

    Don’t waste your trials, or deny them to others, they could be the very things that save someones future.

  18. @Andrew Atkin 7:05 PM

    Don’t accept this anti-sprawl bullshit which has devastated housing affordability.

    Don’t accept this pro-sprawl bullshit which has devastated housing affordability.

    If you have to spend an extra $100 a week commuting from one part of a greater sprawled Auckland to another where you work because there is no or inadequate public transport, that costs $4800 a year.

    Personally, if I had no choice, I would rather spend that on increased mortgage servicing, rather than endure the stress of a long commute in heavy traffic every day for no financial benefit.

    And for those on lower incomes, neither option is a good one.

  19. Greenfly,

    People who care about poverty for real don’t play silly games with their personal diet. They don’t have anything to prove. They are focused on real things that produce real ends.

    Dick. head.

  20. Good on you! My daughter is doing this also and is getting just a little scratchy :-)
    That said, sheś putting me to shame, as Iḿ carrying on as usual, although Iḿ keeping it simple so as not to have tempting fragrances wafting out from the kitchen. Rice and beans for dinner, for me. Not much different from what sheś having, though I notice her helpings are very small.
    I admire anyone whoś Living Below the Line.

Comments are closed.