April 22, 2015 2:31 pm

Cooking and eating on $1.75 a day as B.C. residents take on challenge to end poverty

Eating and drinking on $1.75 a day is the Canadian equivalent of the extreme poverty line, an amount that 1.2 billion people around the world must live on daily for all their needs.

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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VANCOUVER – Residents in B.C. and across Canada are being asked to take part in the Live Below the Line challenge, taking place from April 27 to May 1.

The challenge urges Canadians to eat and drink on $1.75 a day for five days, while raising funds for organizations that tackle extreme poverty issues.

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Eating and drinking on $1.75 a day is the Canadian equivalent of the extreme poverty line, an amount that 1.2 billion people around the world must live on daily for all their needs.

B.C. resident Moneca Gabriel has been taking part in the challenge for the past two years and this will be her third year. “I lived in Kenya, Africa, for four years and while there visited an isolated town in East Africa to lend my support following a drought,” said Gabriel in an email interview. “While visiting, I experienced the true meaning of extreme poverty and the hardship and tragedy that comes with it. This was a truly eye opening experience for me.”

Living on $1.75 a day is challenging and Gabriel had to plan her meals ahead of time. “I took the challenge with a friend which made it easier because it allowed us to pool our money together for groceries,” she said. “Some of the key food supplies we purchased that we were able to extend and make last throughout the week were eggs, sardines, lentils and barley.”

However, getting enough nutrients was a problem and Gabriel said she felt “foggy” during the challenge.

“I got a fair amount of protein from the eggs and sardines, but lacked in other essential vitamins and minerals, therefore felt foggy throughout the challenge,” she said. “Luckily for me, I knew after five days I’d be able to get back to eating higher nutrient rich foods, unlike the 1.2 billion people worldwide who live in extreme poverty and face this challenge every single day with no end in sight.”

This year, Live Below the Line asked chefs and restaurants across Canada to create recipes and feature dishes at their own restaurants to show what can be made on a very strict budget.

Chef Trevor Bird, owner of Fable Kitchen in Vancouver, joined Steve Darling on the Global BC Morning News to demonstrate his recipe of roasted cauliflower and vegetable slaw. Each portion works out to about 60 cents.

He said it was very challenging to come up with a recipe on such a small budget.

The vegetable slaw contains cabbage, carrots, raisins, radish and a small scoop of mayonnaise. Bird also recommends having salt and vinegar to hand.

“When I started to take this challenge on, you start to realize very quickly how hard it is,” said Bird. “It’s quite sad.”

To sign up for the challenge, or to donate, visit Live Below the Line.

Here are some other recipes as part of the campaign:

Breakfast - Enfrijoladas Breakfast - Guilt & Co. Breakfast - Sweet Potato & Rice Noodle Omelette Lunch - Fajitas Lunch - Guilt & Co. Lunch Dinner - Guilt & Co. Dinner - Quesadilla Braised Pork Shoulder with Lentils White Fish and Navy Bean Cassoulet

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