Well its day 2 of trying to live on £1 and I have to say… it’s easy! Only…a bit too easy!
The more that I reflect on this, the more I realise that living on £1 for me is just a world away from living on the same amount if for some of the guys that I spend time with…
for instance, if you are homeless, it’s impossible to live on £1. When you buy any meal as a homeless person, you are effectively paying to have it made for you, you simply can’t do it. Or maybe you live in a shared house or on your own in a flat…it’s very hard to achieve economies of scale in your cooking. You can cook a meal in bulk but you then have to freeze it (if you have a freezer and if you electric doesn’t run out) and if you do have a freezer, its rather boring to eat that meal throughout the week!
My family have joined me in parts through this week and it’s so much easier to cook a meal for 4 cheaply than to cook for one. This is highlighted at the House of Bread. I sometimes cook on a Wednesday and if I cook for 70 there is no way it will cost more than £30 and that will be a good balanced healthy meal!
So what happened today. Every Sunday at Church there is a free dinner to anyone who wants one, so today I took advantage, i had a very balanced and lovely meal, I had a pudding and because people there know me and like me and im the training Minister.. I had numerous offers of free dinners! I even took home a left over cake!
This week, furthermore, there are more offers of free food. I’m taking a communion service tomorrow which is followed by (you guessed it) a free lunch. I have college in the afternoon til Tuesday (with various free lunches and turning them down is wasteful). Wednesday I have HOB leaving Thursday/Friday to try and get back to the challenge.
My mum used to say the old phrase ‘money goes to money’ and it seems to ring true here, I can’t move for free lunches and I’m supposed to be finding this hard. The truth is, that there is a world of difference between some of our guys needing some food help and me needing it, the people in church this morning meant well but there were others who needed the cake more and I’m sure they didn’t get the offers I got. I’m beginning to think it is impossible for me to authentically do this. Im just too middle class im afraid! I’m going to go through the week, take the offers but at this stage i might have to do it for a prolonged period to really understand what it is like.