What would you say to buying a coffee for £2.50? Seems pretty reasonable? We pay for the coffee without a second thought, and continue to enjoy chatting to a friend or wonder off caffeine fuelled for another long stint in the library. For many people though, it is impossible to be so blasé about buying coffee, as that £2.50 is their daily total budget. Turns things on their head somewhat, eh?
This horrific reality, coupled with the disgusting amount of good food wasted daily, has motivated us to take on our latest challenge. FoodCycle Bristol Managers are embarking on the Breadline Challenge!
For one week, we’re going to attempt to step into the shoes of thousands of Britons, struggling to eat healthily on a tight budget, and live on £18 for the week. £18 will account for all our food consumption, and any other activities requiring money – gym classes, meals out, going out, etc.
This figure of £18 comes from MP Helen Goodman: “£18 is based on the experiences of my constituents, in particular women on employment and support allowance who have had to stop working owing to chronic health conditions, perhaps after 20 years of working life. Out of their £71.70, they have to find £10 for electricity, £20 for heating — gas or coal —£6 for water rates, £4 for bus fares and £10 for the spare room tax, which left them with £23 for weekly living expenses. That £23 has to cover more than food, of course. We did a calculation, and set aside £5 for all the non-food items everyone has to buy—soap, washing powder, washing-up liquid, toothpaste, loo paper—plus a small amount in order to save £50 a year for clothes or a pair of trainers, or in case the iron breaks. That leaves £18.” (Her full article is here: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/03/trying-live-%C2%A318-week-showed-unfairness-bedroom-tax) We fully understand that whilst this is just a one week challenge for us, it is the reality of many people across the UK, and it is important to be sensitive to that.
We hope the experience will put much of what we take for granted in perspective, motivate our involvement in FoodCycle, as well as give us some top tips for saving money! Please kindly sponsor us, whatever you can. The money we fundraise will go towards funding our ongoing work in the community. With your support, we can help those that are struggling right now in the UK, providing them with a delicious and nutritious three course meal in a pleasant sociable environment to look forward to each week.
Our sponsor page can be found at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=Breadline&isTeam=true
Our Breadline Challenge will be taking place between Monday 3rd February and Sunday 9th February. Keep up to date with our progress!
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/445533975574818/
Our blog: For our Breadline Diaries, a different manager each day will be sharing their difficulties, feelings, top tips, and recipes!