Monday, 14 October 2013

Stories from Live Below the Line:

Debbie's story:

Debbie Cavit, businesswoman and CEO of Cavit&Co, recently completed the Live Below the Line challenge for NPH. This meant spending only $2.25 per day on all food and drink, for five days – a tricky budgeting exercise that saw her travelling to a local fruit and vege market in Pukekohe to hunt out the cheapest deals.

She was surprised how much she could get there for a relatively small amount of money, and made up several meals in advance. Seven serves of pumpkin serve costs only $3.64 to make, she discovered, and roti cost next to nothing. Small apples were only 9 cents each, which allowed her to make a creative dessert with pan-tossed slices of apple and cinnamon on a hot roti.

Debbie was able to get through the initial part of the challenge without feeling particularly hungry, mowing her lawns, water-blasting her house and cooking after work. Three days in, it was a different story. She began to feel the effects of smaller portions and a lack of sugar, which was too expensive to use. “I’m just not firing on all cylinders” she realised, struggling to focus and contribute during business meetings.

She’s glad the challenge is over and has regained her energy and mental dexterity, but she would recommend the challenge to anyone who wants to gain an insight into the lives of those who have to live below the line every day.

You can donate to the NPH children through Debbie’s Live Below the Line campaign here:

Louie's story:

Fireman and rugby player Louis Maxwell found Live Below the Line an interesting and challenging experience. “I’m yet to meet anyone who eats as much as me” he laughed, so he was apprehensive in the days leading up to the challenge. “If I can do it, anyone can do it”, he said.

After starting, however, Louis realised it was possible to actually have quite a lot of food for $2.25 a day. It was crucial to look at recipes and plan meals to make sure he was still getting the protein he needed, substituting meat for eggs and lentils. Cheap vegetables such as cabbage and broccoli also helped him a lot. To make sure he was still getting the portion size he was used to, he really had to sacrifice quality for quantity!

Having heard from friends who have years of hands-on experience working with NPH in South America, Louis believes it is a great cause. What shocks him the most is that vulnerable children have little or no government support in South America – something that is unimaginable to a New Zealander. “I did it because these kids go through being hungry their whole lives, what’s five days out of my life?”

You can support the NPH children by donating to Louis’ Live Below the Line campaign here:

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