What Can You Get for $1.50 a Day?

April 11, 2014

photo_1-india_bpl_board1.nodeThe Hunger Project is honored to be a major partner in the Live Below the Line fundraising and awareness campaign that challenges participants to live on the equivalent of $1.50 for food and drink for five days.

Hunger Project programs in Africa, South Asia and Latin America partner with communities living “below the line” to build opportunities for women and men to lead healthy and productive lives, meet their own basic needs and build better futures.

Our partners are the authors of their own development and are achieving lasting progress in their communities in areas of health, education, nutrition, family income and gender equality.

Here at The Hunger Project Global Office in New York, the staff team has been debating the choices that need to be made to live on $1.50 per day: Do we give up caffeine so as not to waste money on a tea bag at $0.03 or coffee at $0.10 per cup? How do we sustain our energy with protein when eggs are $0.31 a pop? How do we ensure we are eating nutritious foods? Can we afford organic? How do we not eat rice and beans every day?

Yet, as challenging as these choices are, we are very cognizant that we are not even taking into account our transportation, our vitamins, our health care costs. It’s been just one window into the lives of the people in 15,000 villages around the world with whom we in The Hunger Project work to end hunger and poverty through sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies.

This photo was taken in a village in Madhya Pradesh, India in front of the government public distribution system store where families designated as BPL or “below the poverty line” can purchase grain at subsidized costs. It’s a great example of how our partners in India need to consider very similar choices when determining how to spend the little income they have: the average GDP per capita in the state is just under $2/day.

Here is a translation of the board:
Stock List (per 1 kilo)

Sugar: Rs 13.50 ($0.22)
BPL Wheat: Rs 1.00 ($0.02)
BPL Rice: Rs 2.00 ($0.04)
Extreme BPL Wheat: Rs. 1.00 ($0.02)
Extreme BPL Rice: Rs. 2.00 ($0.04)
General category wheat: Rs. 9.00 ($0.09)
General category rice: Rs. 16.40 ($0.19)
Kerosene Rs. 16.40 ($0.27)
Shared community wheat: free
Shared community rice: free
Mid-day meal rice: free
Salt: Rs. 1.00 ($0.02)

And here are some of our options in NYC:

Organic eggs: $0.52 each
Eggs: $0.31 each
White bread: $0.17/slice
Whole wheat bread: $0.18/slice
Peanut butter: $0.11 per tablespoon
Rice, white: $0.57/pound (about $0.08 per cup)
Rice, brown: $0.80/pound (about $0.11 per cup)
Black beans, dry: $0.11/oz (about $0.15 per ½ cup)
Coffee: $0.08 per 6 oz. cup
Tea bag: $0.03


Get Involved

Are you up for the challenge? Join us and invite your friends and family to support your efforts by investing in The Hunger Project!

  • Sign up in the U.S.!
  • Sign up in the U.K.!

Want to support our efforts? Invest in The Hunger Project’s Live Below the Line campaign.