Ben Affleck to Eat for $1.50 a Day So He'll Know What It’s Like to Be Poor (VIDEO)

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ben affleckHow much money do you think the average celeb spends on food each day? Considering all the lunches in Beverly Hills and all the customized dietitian-designed meals, I'm sure it's not uncommon to spend into the hundreds. Well, a few celebs have decided to cut their daily food budgets -- by a lot. Ben Affleck plans to live on $1.50 a day for five days.

It's part of a hunger awareness campaign, Live Below the Line -- as in live below the poverty line. Sophia Bush, Josh Groban, Debi Mazar, and Hunter Biden will join the challenge to help raise funds for the Global Poverty Project. Want to hear what Ben has to say about staying alive on $1.50 a day?

He and others are expected to live tweet via their own Twitter accounts as well as on @LBLUS. And you can join them, too. Anyone can sign up for the same pledge. What's the point? The organization says it's to "increase the number and effectiveness of people taking action to see an end to extreme poverty."

More from The Stir: Jennifer Garner Aims to Save America's Children

Will it work? That's what I always wonder about these awareness campaigns. (Remember when Mayor Cory Booker pledged to live on food stamps alone?) Last year the same $1.50 project raised over $3 million and got over 15,000 participants. Not massive, but a great start. This year could be bigger.

But even more than the money raised, I think it would be enlightening if all of us who take three square meals a day for granted (I know I do!) could take this challenge just as an exercise in empathy. The challenge is actually to do it for five days. I'm not sure I could even function on so little for more than a day or two. With my daily commute into the city? Working full-time? Caring for my son when I get home? No way.

If you're curious, you can sign up at Live Below the Line's website.

How long could you live on $1.50 a day -- or have you already done this?


Image via Medil DC/Flickr

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miche... micheledo

Honestly, it would be a lot easier to do it for a week, then one day. Five days gives you 7.50. Buy a whole chicken at .88 a pound, eggs, a bag of apple. Not much, but filling. Go i nwith another person and you could get some rice and peanut butter and share some decent meals.

Seriously, with seven in our family ,that gives me $10.50 per day. Our grocery budget is $100 a week, so $14.28 a day. We have lived on less when necessary. Now living on what people in other countries live on - THAT would be hard!!!

nonmember avatar Taylor

Walmart has peanut butter for 2.34.( Online price) A loaf of bread is a dollar, a bunch of bananas would be another 2.00. Throw in a few a few apples for the remaining money to equal 7.50. Not bad for 1.50 for 5 days.

miche... micheledo

Oh ,and just want to add - when we were a family of four we lived on $40 a week for groceries and gas for the car. We did that for an entire summer - about three months before our finances changed.

To me, this just highlights the fact that we in the US don't really know true poverty. At least vwry few of us. Poverty to me is living on rice, one meal a day, every day. But then I have been overseas, so maybe I see things differently.

1Step 1Step

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot more than live off $1.50 for one day to understand what it's like to live under the poverty line.  The REAL issue with poverty is that there is no where to fall - you are already at the bottom.  One single unexpected expense can throw your entire life into a tailspin with no way to stop it and it just snowballs from there.  There is no room for mistakes if you're poor - those with more can make the occasional bad judgement call and still survive.  If you're poor each and every decision must be 100% correct, no room for error or miscalculation.   Even by a single penny.  I grew up poor.  Was bullied in school for years because of it.  I remember helping my Mom hide the car from the repo men.  Scrounging in the dumpster behind the grocery store.  Now I work for a non-profit helping those struggling with the same issues.  Because I walked in those broken shoes.  This is a great way to bring attention to our national disgrace but really - they did not "experience" poverty. ROFL!

NatAndCo NatAndCo

Well said, 1Step.

CrazyAZ CrazyAZ

The trick would be to live on $1.50 a day without a car to get to the grocery store, a fridge to keep the .88/lb chicken in, an oven to roast it in. Then what does a person do?

This is the reality for many people. Hats off to the celebs for drawing attention to this problem though. They don't have to live on 1.50 a day but choose to do it as a way of helping. I admire that.

miche... micheledo

^^^^ Very true! ^^^

Nancy Hartwick're so right! Many of my former homeless clients sustained themselves on cold beans from a can and whatever they could scour from trash heaps. Ben has no clue what being hungry is. I could easily live on $1.50 a day. I am glad he is bringing attention to the hunger issue but he could help in a bigger way by donating some of his millions to a local food pantry or a school feeding program.

adopt... adoption2013

I'd be more impressed if he did this for a month or two.  I appreciate his attempt though.  If he wants to know what it's like to be poor he could volunteer at a shelter or soup kitchen.

nonmember avatar J'Marinde

For a DAY!?! Come on! How about for a month, to get a REAL sense of what it's like.

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