Fundraisers get a taste of poverty for challenge

One New Plymouth woman says she will appreciate home-cooked meals just that little bit more after she finishes a five-day stint surviving on just $2.25 a day.

Danielle Blyde, 19, is taking part in this year's Live Below the Line challenge, which runs from today until Friday.

The challenge involves participants having just $2.25 a day to spend on food. The figure is the New Zealand dollar equivalent to what is considered extreme poverty.

Live Below the Line is a global fundraising initiative which started in 2009 and aims to raise money for the 1.2 billion people in the world who live in poverty.

This is the second time Miss Blyde, a first-year psychology student at the University of Otago, has taken part. She raised $250 for her chosen charity, the Global Poverty Project, in 2012 and hopes to raise a similar amount this year.

Miss Blyde said she struggled to get used to the type of food she could afford on such a tiny budget. "The biggest challenge first time around was getting used to eating rice for every meal, every day."

The former New Plymouth Girls' High student said she became involved after attending a camp run through Regeneration NZ, an organisation that encourages young people to get more involved in world issues.

She celebrated the end of last year's effort with a chocolate bar, but this time the comforts of home appeal. "Having a meal with my family is the nicest thing ever, not having to cook my own meal."

Live Below the Line New Zealand's Sam Drumm said he expected about 2000 Kiwis to participate in the challenge. In 2012 they contributed $380,000 to the cause while about $3 million was raised worldwide.

Deena Coster is a Witt journalism student

Taranaki Daily News