Man takes challenge to live on $1.50 a day - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Man takes challenge to live on $1.50 a day

Alex Hawke talks about the  Live Below the Line Alex Hawke talks about the Live Below the Line

People across the country are taking a five-day challenge where they only have $1.50 per day for all their meals.

The challenge, which started Monday and ended Friday, is called the Live Below the Line and famous actors such as Ben Affleck participated.

Eyewitness News talked with Alex Hawke, who is a graduating senior at Yale University, and asked him about the difficulties he faced while taking the challenge.

"I'm a college student, so ramen was obviously a staple product that I had to get," he said. "I got six of those for I think $1.70 and then it's not going to look like much when I pull it out of the cabinet but $1 loaf of bread, a 2-pound bag of rice that was $1.50."

Rice, bread, beans, spaghetti, sauce and ramen noodles were the only items that Hawke ate this week. He also said that his daily lunch at Au Bon Pon, which included a wrap, chips and a drink, was almost the same price, $9.75, as all the food for the week.

"It's kind of sick to think about it," said Hawke, who is raising awareness about poverty and supporting the United Nations Children's Fund. 

During the challenge, Hawke dealt with finals, papers and even military training.  He was unable to afford fruits and vegetables, which he said is the point.

"It's made me change the way I think about food, about poverty, about what people go through," said Hawke.

Hawke has seen poverty before. He did a military tour in Iraq, traveled to remote parts of Peru, and visited an orphanage in North Korea.

"The kids were so amazing and they had absolutely nothing," said Hawke , who was doing the challenge for the first time. "It made me. It touched me in a way I'll never feel again."

His regiment for the week was no breakfast, rice and beans for lunch, ramen noodles as snacks and pasta for dinner.

He said he lost about five pounds and has battled constant hunger pangs and fatigue.

But as this challenge comes to an end, Hawke said he still thinks about the children where hunger is not a choice, but a way of life.

"If you're hungry, you're not going to be able to concentrate on work. You're not going to be a good performer at work," Hawke said. "Being able to get out of poverty, out of extreme poverty where you're hungry, I think would be incredibly difficult."

The challenge ends Friday at midnight when Hawke will celebrate with a pizza party.

If you would like to help Hawke, click the following link.

Copyright 2013 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.