Ben Affleck trading luxurious lifestyle to live on $1.50 a day for poverty campaign… but how on earth will he manage it?
Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner have a combined fortune of almost $100m.
But the Hollywood actor is set to embark on Global Poverty Project’s Live Below the Line awareness campaign, where participants are asked to live below the poverty line on just $1.50 a day.
The small sum would barely buy him half a cup of coffee from Starbucks – but Ben says he is up for the challenge.
Up for the challenge: Ben Affleck is set to embark on Global Poverty Project’s Live Below the Line awareness campaign, where participants are asked to live below the poverty line on $1.50 a day
The campaign tasks individuals to survive on $1.50 a day for five days in a row.
What could $1.50 a day buy Ben?
Previous participants who took part in the campaignhave suggested a diet of just rice and beans to live for the entire five days. But other things Ben could ‘splash out’ on include…
- One can of kidney beans from the 99¢ Only Store – 50¢
- Half a 2lb bag of Jasmine rice – $1.14
- One bag of Lays crisps – 79¢
- NESTLE Crunch Chocolate Crisp Candy Bar 6 Pack from the 99¢ Only Store – 99¢
- One small brewed Starbucks coffee – 95¢
And what he couldn’t afford on his budget…
One loaf of grocery store bread – $4
Pinkberry – $2.50 for small/ no toppings
The Argo star informed his fans that he would be taking part in the campaign on Monday via his Twitter account.
He wrote: ‘1.4 billion people live on less than $1.50/day. I’m joining Live #BelowTheLine on behalf of @easterncongo. Will you?’
The father-of-three, who is married to actress Garner, has been advised to spend his entire budget of $7.50 at the beginning of the week on high calorie, affordable food like pasta and rice.
The Oscar winning actor is following in the footsteps of fellow leading man, Hugh Jackman.
The Wolverine star started working with Live Below the Line in 2011 and released a promotional video for the campaign last year.
This year Ben will also join the likes of actors Jonah Hill, Josh Groban, Sophia Bush and Avengers star Tom Hiddleston, who are also choosing to live below the line.
So how exactly will these well-heeled stars survive?
The Live Below The Line website provides examples, recipes and advice on how participants can survive on just $1.50 a day.
It also include a meal plan, with many past participants suggesting a diet of just rice and beans for the entire five days.
In one past participant’s blog, a woman called Meg said she visited her local supermarket ahead of her own five day stint to stock up on bags of brown rice, dry pasta, potatoes and cans of beans.
With meat and green vegetables being too expensive, she said that she and her team had to settle on just rice and beans.
She was however able to splurge on a can of Parmesan cheese to season her stodgy meals.
Supporter: Hugh Jackman started working with Live Below the Line in 2011 and released a promotional video for the campaign last year
And while Ben’s pantry is no doubt fully stocked with plenty of produce already, it does not mean he can simply pluck items out of it for the challenge.
Strict rules apply for the Live Below The Line campaign.
The website states that: ‘The full cost of all the items you consume must be included in your budget.
‘This means budgeting for whole packages of food such as rice, pasta, noodles and eggs etc.’
The site suggests that participants should work in teams to spread the cost over several people in order to make their $7.50 go further.
Fellow participants: This year Ben will also join the likes of actors including Josh Groban and Avengers star Tom Hiddleston
And every time one is tempted to use already existing food in the kitchen, there’s a price to pay.
‘You can’t grab a snack from the pantry unless you include the cost of buying the item new in your budget,’ the website states.
And while his wife Jennifer is known to be the proud owner of a flourishing veggie patch, Ben will also have to pay if he chooses to harvest any of the fresh produce.
‘You can use food sourced from your garden as long as you can account for the price of production!’ the website states.
Show of solidarity: Ben has been wearing his Boston Red Sox baseball cap in the past few days in a show of solidarity for the recent victims of the Boston bombings
The Oscar winning actor is regularly gifted with a wide range of freebies, often including food items, but he will not be allowed to use those either, as the campaign bans ‘donations’.
If Ben chooses not to live on rice and beans, the actor can always turn to packaged food.
If he were to visit a 99¢ Only Store in Los Angeles, he could purchase two packets of crisps or a couple of chocolate bars for just under $1.50.
The aim of the campaign is not only to raise money for the Global Poverty Project, but also for participants to feel what it is like to live in extreme poverty like 1.4 billion people who do around the world.
And while Ben earned millions for his last motion picture Argo, if one were to live on $1.50 a day, that equates to just $547.50 a year.
Ben, who has visited the Congo eight times in recent years, is a huge supporter of the fight against poverty.
He previously revealed he started his own charity called the Eastern Congo Initiative as an example to his children Violet, seven, and Seraphina, four, and son Samuel, 14-months.
He said: ‘I got to a point in my life where I felt like I had been very fortunate.
‘And I wanted to do something more with my life than just make movies and try to make money.
‘I wanted to do something that was important to me in other ways and would serve as an example to my kids.’