16 May, 2012
Living below the line - A Cadet's adventure!
Last year my house mate and two of the older youth did the Oaktree Foundation 'Live Below the Line' Challenge as as part of their cell group. I further investigated this by checking it out online and decided to join in this year.
At the start I didn't think I would feel all that hungry during the week and I would come through fine however I don't think I have ever felt more hungry! It would almost be safe to say that people who don't have to live on $2 a day take food for granted. When eating normally for me, if I became hungry I would be able to access something even if just a small snack fairly quickly and I could take those hunger thoughts away. However since living on $2 a day- hunger pains have taken on a whole new meaning... and there really isn't much you can do about it.
When doing the meal and menu planning before the big week— it was looking pretty alright until I went to purchase things and it really upset me that where I will normally buy fair trade products or more healthier options it just wasn't possible. There were things like I would have loved to get suck as brown rice and brown bread but it was cheaper to buy white rice/bread and get more for my money. I got most of my products from one of the big chain supermarkets instead of locally produced goods because I was able to buy more for the week however I wasn't supporting the local community.
Throughout the week I have continued to eat with the college community, just with my special menu. It defiantly does make a difference socially when you are eating different and much less. Fresh salad has never looked so attractive before! A positive to have come from this experience, is that I have realized that I used to eat unessecary food. So I think my eating habits will have changed from here on in. You find little annoying things like you can't just pull out a piece of chewy out of your bag. It was harder to concentration in classes and when trying to study.I have found it to be a great experience, one I will do again—even though I'm hungry, because it has brought about great awareness and conversations around it, helped raised funds for projects overseas and helped me appreciate and realise how good we actually have it in Australia.
(Kimberley is a Cadet with the Salvation Army Australia - Southern Territory)