Could you feed yourself on $2.50 a day for three days?

Our fundraiser challenges participants to feed themselves on US$2.50 a day for three days. You will not only be raising money for a high-impact charity through sponsorship, but also influencing others to help end global poverty, and spreading awareness about effective altruism and high-impact charities.

Get involved and take on the challenge to make a big impact, either as individuals or as a team: club together and raise more for this effective, high-impact charity.

What: Spend only $2.50 a day on food for three days. Get sponsored to take the challenge and raise money for Deworm the World, a high-impact charity fighting poverty.
Why: Half of the world spends $2.50 or less on food each day. This reflects income levels at which people often can’t afford basic health care. All money raised goes to buy medicines that cost only 50 cents. It is so cheap to us, but critical to others.
When: You can choose the dates - we’re suggesting August 20-22.
What you can vary: Any of this: the amount you spend, the number of days and the date. For example, see below for the ‘challenge mode’ of spending only $1.90
How: Sign up via these links for the US, Canada, the UK, Australia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and the Eurozone. Then ask friends and family to sponsor you. We’ll send you guidance and pointers, and you can email us at if you have questions or would like to chat.

What if I live in another country?

We have separate pages with different currencies for the following countries:

If you don’t live in any of those countries then you can either join the US page which will let your friends donate in dollars or you can email us to see if we can add your country.

How do you join?

Simply sign up via the links above!

You set your goal for how much you’d like to raise (we suggest setting it as $500 or more), write about why you’re doing it, and then it’s as simple as asking your friends and family to sponsor you. Most people will be touched by your dedication to helping those less fortunate and will be happy to help too.

Or you can just donate to the campaign! 50 cents buys a pill that treats a child for a whole year, so just $20 buys enough for 40 children.

What could you possibly eat for only $2.50 a day?

Not much. But that’s kind of the point. It’s to get a sense of how limiting $2.50 is. It’s like running a marathon for charity, but a lot more related.

Here’s a few cheap meals people have tried in the past:

  • Rice, beans, and spices or soy sauce
  • Butternut squash pasta
  • Ramen noodles
  • Oatmeal with chopped banana

What are the rules?

You may well find the challenge very difficult, but of course this is nothing like experiencing poverty: those who live in poverty face immense and unimaginable suffering.

The spirit of the event involves reminding yourself and others how many people are living in poverty, and understanding that you can help. As long as it is done in this spirit, do what you think is best. If you need to spend a bit more money, you can set your own amount. If you lapse during your three days, it’s OK. You might even want to mention it on Facebook, talking about how difficult it was. It will help people understand how hard it is to feed yourself on such a small amount, and that’s without numerous other difficulties that those living under the poverty line face.

The money goes to Deworm the World

The money raised goes to Deworm the World, which gives out medicine that cures children who have parasitic worms (including those that cause the disease schistosomiasis). These parasites live inside your body and suck your blood. The effects include fatigue, bloody diarrhoea, fever, and chills. Rather understandably, being so ill leads to many sick days from school and work. In fact, this is why deworming is one of the most cost-effective ways to give children an education. Funds are passed through via partner The Commonwealth Market.

cost effectiveness of deworming

Why $2.50?

Half of the world lives on less than $1,368 a year . Around 65% of that is spent on food, which means $2.43 a day.

You might have traveled to somewhere where you can buy more for $2.50 overseas. This is a good point, which is why the $2.50 figure is adjusted to how much $2.50 could buy in the USA in 2005. That’s not much. Now imagine that you have to use the remaining $1.75 per day on shelter, transport, healthcare, and entertainment. That’s why we’re running this campaign. Because that’s just too little and we want to change that.

Challenge Mode - Live on $1.90

$1.90 a day is the international poverty line, so why not try to live on only that for 3 days?

Why do the challenge mode?

  • This study suggests that people raise more when they suffer more.
  • You’ll get a better sense of what it’s like to feed yourself on such a small amount.



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