This week, I will donate the money I would’ve wasted on eating my way out of boredom to Foodbank. This week, my household will donate $449. Add $70 to that and you get the amount on money we spent on food the week before. And not only that, that is $100 MORE than we donated last year.
I just want to say a massive thankyou to everyone who blogged, tweeted, commented and participated in the $35 Challenge this year. The Challenge is all about raising money, raising awareness, and raising hope that perhaps, some day soon, there won’t be so many Australians for whom the next meal will be from a charity, serverely nutrionally deficient or no meal at all.
Because The $35 Challenge is based on my own experience, I’d always assumed, without realising it, that it was for people ‘just like me’, whatever that means. But what overwhelms me now is the vast spectrum of people living in poverty. People I’d never even considered- international students, refugees, those living in remote areas. And the list of people at risk of poverty is even more overwhelming – single parents, the unemployed, those who are single and of working age, women over 65, women generally. These are groups who face a unique set of challenges on top of living in poverty.
Last week, I visited Vincentian House, an inner-Sydney crisis accommodation centre run by the St Vincent de Paul Society. The reason for the visit was twofold – I would get to meet the team and see the centre, and we would discuss a way that I could possibly contribute with some kind of resource based on The $35 Challenge. The thinking was that if I could live so frugally, I may have something of value to offer their clients.
A couple of weeks ago I was interviewed by the lovely Carrie Soderberg for ABC online. You can read her article here.
I want to thank Carrie and the ABC for the article, and also a big thanks to Foodbank CEO John Webster and Anti-Poverty Week National Liaison Officer with Katheine McCallum for their supportive comments.
The other night, Elise was coming round to finalise the launch of our The Potluck Club (you can read more about it here) and offered to bring some takeaway, and also her husband, Chris. But the $35 Food Challenge had just begun, so this was out of the question. So I offered for them to have some pizza with us, as last week, we’d bought a ton of toppings for a pizza that never eventuated. They agreed and offered to bring salad, so basically it was a mini potluck. Since I still had the receipt from Aldi I figured I could subtract the pepperoni, olives and cheese from our big shop the next morning. And then I looked in the cupboard. And there was no flour.
We’d done the exact opposite of what I always advise people – be prepared and do one big shop. So I popped out to our much-loathed local IGA for some flour, only to find black and gold products have been discontinued. My 1 kilo of plain white flour suddenly jumped in price from $1.59 to $2.39. Shit. My stomach dropped. Oh yes, The $35 Food Challenge really has begun.
This week I had the nerve racking but ultimately rewarding experience of presenting a talk (twice) on The $35 Food Challenge as part of the City of Sydney Library’s ‘Lunches with Bite’. It would be an understatement to say it was a fantastic experience. Once I started talking I found I just couldn’t shut my mouth. And the reason is this.
If you only have $5 a day to spend on food, all it takes is $3 coffee and suddenly 60% of your daily food budget is spent. The fact is, this is reality for many Australians. In Australia, approximately 2.2 million people live below the poverty line – 11.1%. That’s 2.2 million Australians without access to basic necessities like healthy food, dental care, transport, affordable housing and education. This is in spite of the fact that Australians as a whole are living through good economic times.
How is this possible? What can we do?
The $35 Challenge asks you to experience poverty. During Anti-Poverty Week, from October 14-20, you have $5 a day to spend on food. For 1 week, experience what it feels like to eat below the poverty line. By experiencing poverty for just 7 days, we can come to a better understanding of the reality of living in poverty, and raise awareness of an issue so often swept under the rug. And by donating the remainder of the money we would usually spend on food to Foodbank, we can make a real difference.
Image courtesy of Krug6
Today, I will donate the money I would’ve wasted on eating my way out of boredome to OzHarvest. Today, my household will donate $348.87. Add $70 to that and you get the amount on money we spent on food the week before. Scary.
I just want to say a massive thankyou to everyone who blogged, tweeted, commented and participated in the inaugral $35 Challenge this year. I want to thank those regretfully declined. We’ll be back next year, bigger and better than ever, and I hope you’ll join us. I really, really do.
I’m still musing on it, you’re probably sick to death of hearing about it, but there you go.
The interview went to air this afternoon. If you missed it, you can listen to a podcast here.
If you only have $5 a day to spend on food, all it takes is $3 coffee and suddenly 60% of your daily food budget is spent. The fact is, this is reality for many Australians. In Australia, approximately 2.2 million people live below the poverty line. That’s 11.1%. of us without access to basic necessities like healthy food, dental care, transport, affordable housing and education. The $35 Challenge aims to raise awareness of this fact, along with raising money for a worthy charity – OzHarvest.
The $35 Challenge asks you to experience poverty. During Anti-Poverty Week, from October 16-22, you have $5 a day to spend on food. For 1 week, experience what it feels like to eat below the poverty line. By experiencing poverty for just 7 days, we can come to a better understanding of the reality of living in poverty, and raise awareness of an issue so often swept under the rug. And by donating the remainder of the money we would usually spend on food to OzHarvest, we can make a real difference.
Take the pledge!
There are 5 main ways to get involved in The $35 Challenge:
1. Participate in The $35 Challenge.
2. Blog your experiences of The $35 Challenge.
3. Promote The $35 Challenge on your blog/twitter feed.
4. Organise a a ‘Shout Lunch, Fight Hunger’ event in your workplace during anti-poverty week.
5. Donate to The $35 Challenge.
I hope you will join me in the inaugural $35 food challenge, as we do our bit to raise awareness and funds in the fight against poverty.
At the heart of it, we food bloggers are food lovers. We all started blogging for different reasons, but the reason we keep going is for the love of food. But it’s important to remember that there are some Australians who aren’t so lucky. Some for whom their next meal will be a struggle, not a celebration. Some for whom ‘bringing a plate’ is a near impossibility. That’s why a bunch of us bloggers came together to release The Potluck Club, an e-cookbook with all proceeds going to Foodbank, Australia’s largest food relief organisation.
The book retails for just $5.95 and comes in both mobile device-friendly portrait and a pc/printer-friendly landscape formats. You get both when you purchase the book. But more importantly, each copy sold will fund a dozen meals for those in need.
Today I just want to take a moment to thank all the bloggers who have donated their work and their time so that Elise, Amy and I could put together a 50 page e-cookbook of fantastic recipes. We each brought what we could to the table; a recipe, a photo or two and after seven whirlwind weeks from start to finish, it’s done. So thank you.
Popular posts this month…
- Amaretti – The no-fuss treat posted on November 18, 2010
- 5 tips for perfect espresso posted on November 23, 2010
- Rich Portuguese Custard posted on November 29, 2010
- Desert Island Potatos posted on December 3, 2010
- Sri Lankan Spinach with Coconut posted on December 10, 2010
- Mousse Chocolate and other peoples’ families posted on December 15, 2010
- The quest for Mex part 1 – Mexican Red Rice posted on December 17, 2010
- The quest for Mex part 2 – Feisty Chicken Burritos posted on December 21, 2010
- No more shit #travelcoffee and #workcoffee
- Why I write and four ace bloggers who do it better
- The five best things I ate in London
- Shoreditch is awesome, airports are not
- I quit sugar? Do I bollocks.
- Cubao Street Food, Alexandria
- The Reformatory Caffeine Lab, Surry Hills
- Brewtown Newtown
- Stay caffeinated over Christmas
- Gumption by Coffee Alchemy, Sydney CBD
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 Australia License.
Disclaimer:All opinions in this blog are mine, an everyday, real-life person. I do not accept payment for reviews and nor do I write sponsored posts. I do not endorse the content of the comments herein. From time to time I give away products and experiences to my readers, all competitions have completely arbitrary rules, all decisions are final and all prizes awarded as I see fit.