THE STAPLE diet for many students consists of takeaways, pizza and microwavable meals but that will feel like luxury for a Sheffield Hallam student this week as she lives off just £1-a-day to raise awareness of extreme poverty.
Jenny Collins, a law and criminology student, is taking part in the ‘Live Below the Line’ campaign, a fund-raising challenge by the Global Poverty Project.
Volunteers spend just £1 on food and drink each day - the extreme poverty threshold that 1.4 billion people survive on across the world.
Explaining why she decided to take part, Jenny said: “Recently I became a university student. I was thinking that money was a bit tough but then I saw the Live Below the Line campaign and it got me thinking ‘not really’.
“The scale of poverty in some places is unbelievable and it just doesn’t compare.”
By doing the challenge Jenny has so far raised over £250 for Oxfam - one of the organisations supporting the global challenge.
She admits she has missed some of her luxury comforts while taking part in the challenge this week.
“There’s an Aldi near where I live so I’ve just been going there and getting some simple meals such as rice with one vegetable. When I’ve still had some money left over, I’ve bought the odd stock cube to give it at least a bit of flavour.
“And then of course I’ve had the good old beans-on-toast!
“The meals are nothing special but I’m grateful as I know so many people across the world live off less than that.”
Jenny has also been writing a poem after each day, explaining her thoughts and moods with her new diet.
She said: “By doing this challenge I hope to show that people can get creative with raising money for charity. Even in this country we have people living below the poverty line so I hope people stop and think.”
Harriett Roberts, Community Fund-raiser for Oxfam, said: “Live Below the Line is a unique campaign to help understand the issues faced by the 1.4 billion people who currently live in extreme poverty. It’s not just a 5-day experience for them, but often the choice between feeding your family or life-saving healthcare for your loved ones.
“I urge people in Sheffield to join Jenny to experience the Live Below the Line campaign which is raising vital funds for Oxfam’s work.”
Jenny has previously volunteered as a shop worker in an Oxfam shop in her home town of Shrewsbury and has helped out at the charity’s festival in London.
Jenny’s week-long challenge began on Monday and ends on Friday.