A pair of Fife councillors will attempt to survive on just £1 per day for a week in a bid to highlight the plight of those suffering food poverty across the region.
SNP councillors Lea McLelland and Rosemary Liewald say they have been moved to highlight the issue because of the growing demand now being put on local foodbanks, charity kitchens and other support organisations.
The pair will be required to survive for a full week on a meagre selection for essential items such as rice and pasta, without a varied selection of fresh produce and without any of the treat items most people take for granted.
Ms McLelland said they are bracing themselves for a tough week but admit any suffering they experience will be miniscule compared to those facing similar hardship week in, week out.
She said: “We just wanted to do something highlight the growing suffering that individuals and families are facing just trying to survive and with it raise both a wider awareness and some much needed sponsorship and donations to support organisations trying to help those facing hardship.
“Places like Benarty Foodbank and others across Fife have seen demand surge in recent times and it’s tragic to think that around 70% of those now receiving foodbank support are from people and families that are in work.
“We must remember that most who are struggling to provide enough food for themselves or their families will also be suffering fuel poverty, unable to buy new clothes or afford to travel around and that has a massive impact on people mental health and wellbeing.”
Ms Liewald, said the figure of a £1 a day was set by Live Below the Line charity some years ago to raise awareness of people living in poverty.
“The stark reality of surviving on just £1 a day hits home when you think of the items you can buy.
“Most people will have pasta and rice, which are high in carbohydrates but what is missing is the protein and the fresh fruit and vegetables which make up a healthy, balanced diet.
“We are lucky to have the likes of Benarty Foodbank, Lochgelly Lunches, Café Inc and the Bowhill Pantry to help ease the suffering but felt we needed to do something to highlight what people are going through.”
The councillors will start the week long challenge on November 16 and are urging the public to donate to a fundraising page, the proceeds of which will be donated to Benarty Foodbank when they’ve completed their week.
To support the challenge, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/benarty-foodbank