Sociology student thesis on “Live Below the [global] Poverty Line” challenge

A sociology undergraduate at the University of South Florida put together an interesting Honors College thesis based on living on less than $1.50 a day:

Sagal, a sociology student at the University of South Florida, brought the “Live Below the Poverty Line” challenge to USF via her Honors College thesis.

Sagal put up a Facebook page, visited classes, and posted fliers to enlist students in her journey to spend only $1.50 a day on food.

“Many people thought it was impossible to live off of such a little amount per day,” Sagal said. “Others thought I was crazy for trying to get people to join in, since it would be so difficult.”

Three other students participated in the challenge, which required participants to live off $1.50 a day, the current equivalent of the accepted global figure used to define extreme poverty and set by the World Bank as US$1.25 per day in 2005. The $1.50 figure represents the amount someone living in extreme poverty in the U.S. would have to live on…

Some of the food students ate, which they either bought individually or pooled their money together to purchase, was rice, oyster crackers, eggs, cheap bread, and Ramen noodles.

“I learned how much a lack of food can really impact every aspect of your life,” Sagal said. “I was also constantly thinking about food. It was extremely difficult to concentrate on anything and focus because all I could think about was what I had left for the day and when I can eat next.”

Sounds like a revealing experiential learning experience.

One note: shouldn’t the students also have to factor in other costs besides food such as paying for water, electricity, tuition, etc.?

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