Our Lenten Project

Local CAFOD supporters Julia and Shaun Radcliffe recently spent 5 days living off only £1 per person per day. This was in support of the millions around the world who live on the same amount or less. Here are their thoughts on the experience.Image

“We read CAFOD’s “Your Guide to Lent & Beyond” leaflet. One of the challenges was to try  to live on a £1 a day per person for a week to give some idea of what it is like to go withoutthe usual level of sustenance. We decided to have a go but restricted it to five days because of commitments. Any money saved from our usual capital outlay would be donated to CAFOD.

With just £10 available, we looked around our local shops and eventually decided on the following items:

Quick porridge 49p, broth mix 55p, six free-range eggs 99p, potatoes £1.05p, stew pack 95p, margarine £1, ½ pint of milk 50p, 2 wholemeal loaves £1.06, three onions 30p, 12 veg. stock cubes £1, tea-bags 35p, cheese £1.50 plus a reduced price choc bar 19p. We are both vegetarians so meat was not a consideration.”

Julia – “As a keen cook, I found it impossible to be creative! There was no scope for different flavours. I found that I was constantly thinking about food. We did have a bit of a laugh when we were reduced to counting the slices of bread and tasteless slices of processed cheese available at each meal! We realised that we not only have more than enough to eat, but also a good variety. I also realised that we do not need quite as much food to survive on as we think we do and a thought I hope to keep with me always from this experiment is to eat less!  We will spend less on our food bill, have more money to share with the hungry and a reduced waistline!”

Shaun – “The monotony of porridge each morning was hard to face especially as I prefer some salt added to it. I missed salt more than sugar with only the stock cubes providing any flavour. Despite two cubes in the thick broth soup, it was tasteless and gluey. The best meal for me was the potato and onion soup but with only two slices of bread, my stomach told me that the portion was insufficient.

The lack of sugar meant that the twice daily cleaning of teeth was something to look forward to as the paste was nice and sweet!

I can honestly say the experience was not pleasant and realise how harder it would be if I had to under-take manual work as opposed to being retired. A thought how easy it would be for a starving person to turn to stealing to meet the food demands of the family. Many thieves finished up at Botany Bay for the same thing.”

“We found the Hunger Challenge very educational and it gave an insight into the hardship faced by so many in the world.”

Julia & Shaun Radcliffe

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