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Hugh Jackman wants you to 'Live Below the Line' -- on $1.50 a day

Hugh Jackman Can you live for a day on a $1.50 food budget? What about doing it for five days? That's what Hugh Jackman is challenging people to do in a PSA for the Global Poverty Project's "Live Below the Line" campaign.

The Aussie triple-threat sits on the board of the Global Poverty Project, an international organization designed to target public policy to end extreme poverty, and appeared in the video for the "Live Below the Line" campaign. Jackman urged Americans to live below the extreme poverty line by going a workweek spending less than a buck fifty each day on food from May 16 through May 20.

"This is an incredible campaign that really gives us the chance to understand the realities of extreme poverty," Jackman said in a statement.

"It is certainly a challenge to eat and drink off of $1.50 a day for five days, but for 1.4 billion people, $7.50 is all they have not only for food, but also for living costs, clothing -- everything! 'Live Below the Line' highlights the challenges that over 1 billion people are faced with every day and urges us to do something about it."

The campaign was launched April 18 in London, but Jackman joined up with the Global Poverty Project about three years ago when he met founder Hugh Evans.

"I thought, this guy is a lot smarter than me, he's got better ideas, so I'm jumping on board," the "X-Men" actor said. "This is a simple way to get people's attention and more importantly get them to sympathize with the situation of the world.

"Even though the issue of global poverty seems big, there are really simple, practical measures and ways to change things. Write a letter to your [Congress representative], write a letter to a company like Hershey's, for example, to use fair trade chocolate or fair trade coffee. There's simple things and that kind of activation means a lot."

Will you take on Jackman's challenge? Watch the PSA below and tell us in comments.


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-- Nardine Saad

Photo: Hugh Jackman at the 'Live Below the Line' charity benefit in London on April 18, 2011. Credit: Ian Gavan / Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (31)

Well, it´s not so hard if it´s just the food. I can do it with some rice and a touch of sardine, second grade ground beef, etc. After five days...well one begins to feel the lack of other nutrients. And I am not including breakfast, at least with coffee. Tough call!

This will do nothing for poverty. What a joke. This is to make Mr. Jackman, and celebrities like himself, feel good. So they can go to their parties and all have an "Aaaaahhh, we are great people aren't we" moment. Why do we put these people, who if not for luck, would be working in a 7-11.

In what locale? What's possible in some 3rd-world hellhole is not possible in Beverly Hills, I would think.

Hey Hugh,I live alone in a travel trailer and work at the flea market.I challenge you to live my life for a few days.
If you know how to shop and you like Top Ramen(16 cents each) you can eat for a whole lot less than $1.50 a day,but to rich people who've never had to do without,eating on a buck and a half a day sounds as impossible as holding your breath for an hour.
Maybe next you can tell eveyone what it feels like to be black and challenge eveyone to try it for a while.

How long is Hugh going to do it for?

I wonder if Mr. Jackman will take his own advice. I'm guessing not so much.

how much malt liquor can one buy for $1.50?

I was born in a country where the people have figured out how to feed themselves and the world. It is NOT my fault some countries peoples are starving. I do what I can to help those around me to eat. I will NOT live like a 3rd world country. I cannot stretch my living funds any smaller without dying myself, then those I already help will have no help.... If you want to pretend to be a starving person go ahead, I will not join you. Just because "I have enough" does not mean I need to lower my standards so just to "feel good". I already feel good about myself and those I help.

If we do away with poverty - shouldn't we do away with wealth as well?

I'd like to see the PSA for that.

Limousine liberals. . . gotta love em.

Why are celebrities so ignorant of the real world? That was obviously a rhetorical question. While I admire Mr. Jackman, as an actor and as a person, I just can't abide his naive approach to the problem of world hunger. I guess I understand the idea behind this, but, as usual, this is just another case of reality taking a backseat to symbolism. Let's all live on a buck fifty a day for a whole week, then we can pat ourselves on the back for "raising awareness." The subtle implication behind this is that people are starving because of your own selfishly comfortable lifestyle, as if every meal you eat is stolen from the mouth of a starving person. Ridiculous!

Here's an idea - instead of constantly raising awareness, why don't we teach starving peoples how to farm and irrigate the barren lands upon which they continue to live? Or, better yet, let's get rid of all of the warlords and dictators who cause the oppression and starvation in their own countries.

You first, Hugh.

Did anyone factor in that in most of these 3rd world countries that $1.50 to them on the scale of the cost of living is like $40 to the rest of the civilized world. So use some common sense and be happy that you dont have to live on that level and be happy.

Shut up and dance, monkey.

This reminds me of the Avatar director James Cameron telling us all to live on less while he maintains a 25,000 sq. ft. home, 32 cars and a personal jet. And that's just his U.S. based lifestyle.

Limosine liberals, do as I say, not as I do.

If we really want to eradicate poverty we should promote and expand capitalism to any shore we can. Poverty is in America is, largely, a choice. Poverty in Cuba is unavoidable.

This is stupid beyond words and will do nothing to help end gobal poverty. Like others have pointed out it is to make a bunch of overpaid leftist celebutards feel good about their opulant lifestyles for a week or so. When Rhodesia existed it was a net exporter of food now they are starving, with a inflation rate around 50% per month when things are going well. Their biggest problem, they have a bad government along with every other country living in poverty.

I love Hugh Jackman but like some others have said, he'll have to try it himself first before suggesting it to others. Plus this will do nothing for the poor in the long run. As Jesus said, the poor will be with us always. Doesn't mean we can't help them but we'll never eradicate the condition.


You are sooo handsome but lack in the intelligence department. Go dance, or sing, or act or whatever it is you do. Just don't talk.

Here's an idea. How about wiping out poverty by removing the dictators that rule over these extremely impoverished countries, keeping every bit of food and money to themselves. It does us no good to send things and collect money for these poor nations of it's all stolen before it reaches the people it's intended to help. I like Hugh Jackman as an actor, but unless someone can show me his qualifications to sit on a board such as this, I'll view this as self-gratification.

What a fool, typical attitude from a rich liberal moron who is completely disconnected from the poor and devoid of reality.

Until I see proof that he has given away all of his money to the poor, he won't preach to me.

Hey dummy if you ever cooked you'd figure out most of the world lives close to that budget.

I love Hugh Jackman but:

"I thought, this guy is a lot smarter than me, he's got better ideas, so I'm jumping on board," Too easy.

Almost every blogger's response to this article is vastly more intelligent than the author of the article and definitely brighter and wiser than Mr. Jackman's assertions about diminishing poverty. The best way on earth is through the evil capitalist system - plain and simple. America is not responsible for the world's poverty anymore than Europe is responsible for America's wealth.

America's Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence and our American Trinity (E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust & Liberty) is what makes America great and keeps us from becoming like those poor 2nd and 3rd world countries.

Why is this difficult to understand?

Well, I have a better idea. All the money and assets in the world, if translated into american dollars, equals 60 trillion dollars. If all that money was divided equally among the planet's 7 billion in habitants, we would all get about $9,500 dollars. And that would be about all we would get FOR LIFE. So the people who live on $1.50 per day would then really be quite wealthy!

His steroids and haircuts cost more than we make in a year, yet he wants us peasants to live like slaves building the Great Wall.

He smells of vinegar and water.

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