Exploring, eating and writing about good food on Canada's west coast

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Getting ready to Live Below the Line


Next week is going to be a big challenge for this foodie, but I'm excited to see how it goes as I participate in the Live Below the Line Challenge - a world-wide fundraising initiative of the Global Poverty Project and Micronutrient Initiative. Myself and a group of six other brave Vancouver Island friends will be eating below the Canadian poverty line for five days from April 28th to May 2nd, surviving on a budget of $1.75 each for food per day.

I've been menu planning, grocery budgeting and recipe testing to prepare, and will be sharing the experience here on Devour & Conquer all through next week's challenge. Our team name is Team Devour & Conquer Poverty and we'll be fundraising for Make Poverty History - one of Canada's leading anti-poverty campaigns. If you'd like to support us, please visit our team page here to make a donation to Make Poverty History.

Come back and visit the blog next week to see how we are all doing and view some inexpensive recipes we will be using to stretch our budget, like my recent Rainbow Chard Lentil Dal recipe. My first Live Below the Line update will be posted on Monday as we begin the challenge.

Here is a recent press release detailing the Live Below the Line Challenge. I'm excited to see that Canadian celebrity and my old Wipeout Canada buddy (yes, I did in fact, face the Big Red Balls in 2011), Ennis Esmer will be taking part in the challenge as well!


 The Live Below the Line campaign encourages Canadians to eat and drink on $1.75 a day for five days while raising awareness and funds to eradicate extreme poverty

 TORONTO, April 15, 2014 – The second Canadian Live Below the Line campaign, presented by the Micronutrient Initiative, kicks off in less than two weeks. From April 28 to May 2, 2014, participants will spend only $1.75 per day on all food and drink, the Canadian equivalent of the extreme poverty line. In addition to raising awareness and sparking a national dialogue to change the way Canadians think about extreme poverty, the challenge will raise funds for eight Canadian partner organizations that work to end extreme poverty including Opportunity International, Raising the Village and Ve’ahavta.

 From coast to coast, hundreds of Canadians have already joined the challenge with their classmates, colleagues and families. Participants are encouraged to sign up in groups to support one another, pool resources and conduct group grocery shopping trips.

 “Spending only $1.75 per day on food and drink is a difficult challenge but one that has a huge impact,” says Odette Hutchings, Canadian Campaign Manager, Live Below the Line. “It’s about providing a glimpse into the difficult choices approximately 1.2 billion people must make on a daily basis just to survive, and supporting Canadian organizations directly combating extreme poverty. We’re calling all Canadians to join us in the challenge, sign up, donate and support - together we can make a huge difference!”

 Several celebrities have stepped up to support the Live Below the Line initiative – actors Bridget Moynahan, Ennis Esmer, and Naomi Snieckus, have all signed on to take the five-day challenge.

 “My family is taking the Live Below Line challenge again so we can raise more funds to help end extreme poverty and remind ourselves how incredibly fortunate we are,” says past Live Below the Line participant Lee Hayes.  “Pooling our money and feeding a family of five on less than $45 was extremely difficult but also illuminating – it sparked a lot of conversation around the dinner table that I know spilled into our kids’ school and our workplaces.  It was an experience none of us will ever forget.”

 Global Poverty – The Facts

  • It is estimated that 1.2 billion people worldwide currently live in extreme poverty, which in Canada would equate to living on $1.75 per day for all needs.
  • 923 million people worldwide are undernourished, and there are more than 9 million deaths related to hunger each year.
  • Malnutrition reduces a nation’s economic advancement by at least 8% because of direct productivity losses, losses via poorer cognition, and losses via reduced schooling
  • Poor nutrition is an underlying cause of nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year.
  • The good news: the incidence of extreme poverty has decreased by more than 50 per cent over the past 30 years – from 52 per cent of the world's population in 1981, to 22 per cent in 2008.

 To register and for more information about Live Below the Line, visit Join the Live Below the Line community on Facebook (, Twitter (, #belowtheline), and Instagram (

 About Live Below the Line

Live Below the Line is a campaign created by the Global Poverty Project which challenges people to Live Below the Line for five days, raising funds for and awareness of the 1.2 billion people who live below the line every day. Live Below the Line believes that to tackle extreme poverty, we must first understand it.  Live Below the Line gives participants a unique glimpse into the lives of those living in extreme poverty.

The Global Poverty Project

The Global Poverty Project is an international education and campaigning organization with the vision of a world without extreme poverty by 2030. The Global Poverty Project works to increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to end extreme poverty.  Most recently, the Global Poverty Project ran the second Global Citizen Festival in Central Park in New York City, headlined by Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys. This festival was attended by 60,000 people, and resulted in 25 policy and financial commitments being made towards ending extreme poverty by 2030.

 The Micronutrient Initiative

The Micronutrient Initiative (MI) is the leading organization working to eliminate vitamin and mineral or micronutrient deficiencies in the world’s most vulnerable populations. MI is internationally acclaimed for its ability to deliver innovative, low-cost, community-based solutions to nutrition-based problems in the developing world.

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This is great you're doing this. Food insecurity is such a major issue and you're really tackling it head on. Good for you