Living Below the Line




A number of OMD & m2mers took on the Live Below the Line challenge this week, eating on less than $2 a day to raise money for important education programs in Cambodia. It has been an eye opening and important experience for all involved, and one which has made us value the power of food as well as understand a little better what it means to live in a rich nation. Our blog piece below is by James Ransom, one of the participants – his words are specific to his experience but also echo what everyone else went through! Thank you to everyone who donated to the cause and well done to everyone who survived the week!

Biggest Challenge

The hardest part of this challenge was not so much having a little less food (soz…carbs FTW!) but not having the option to eat more or what I wanted if I wished. Being restricted, I found myself thinking about food all the time when food was so readily available to me (often for free). Being depraved of that caffeine kick didn’t help for my morning focus either.

What I would change for next time

Next time if I wanted that extra nutritional and energy kick I would have replaced the loaf of white bread with a bag of rolled oats for only 20-30 cents more. The white bread was nutritionally void and was going off by the end.

Final Thoughts

This experience has been surprisingly enjoyable, if not challenging. Again, not the expected result but hear me out. I got to engage in many interesting conversations with people about the topic, and I was offered many attempted briberies of food, and witnessed some of my fellow LBL’s crash and some power and persevere throughout the week. Which is what I guess this is all about – awareness and a touch of the real experience.

Another point I took away from this was the abundance of free food that’s offered at work, not only did it make me jealous and drool but pointed out how much we take it for granted… and I thought I’d have to dumpster dive. Maybe it’s just media?

Side Note: I realise this week is a mere glimpse, a facet of what true poverty is and don’t claim to say I’ve been there.

…Side Effects

–  I can live off $10 a week! That’s a BIG PLUS if you’re saving and makes you wonder how you spend so much on lunches every week.

Here’s hoping I can merge my new savvy food budgeting skills into the future. More brown rice for me!


– The mini detox doing this was surprising. I feel good 😀

– And weight loss! I reckon I lost about 1kg this week.

Thank you to everyone for donating, really appreciate it.

Signing out, James

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