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40 %
raised of £2,500 target
by 31 supporters
Michael Sparks avatar
Michael Sparks

Help me help Manchester Foodbank Help 100 Families by living below the line

I will live below the line (£1 a day) for 6 days for Manchester Central Foodbank because I want to raise awareness & help those in need

40 %
raised of £2,500 target
by 31 supporters

Manchester Central Foodbank

We provide emergency food parcels to local people in crisis.

Charity Registration No. 1157605


Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Short version: £25 from 100 people, helps 100 families in their time of need. Just donating what you can AND also sharing this page can make a huge difference. I'll be living on £1/day for 6 days at the end of July.

Live Below The Line

Live below the line is a challenge from The Hunger Project. It is quite simply - live below the line for a given time period. Sometimes a day, sometimes 5.

The aim is to raise awareness of extreme poverty abroad, nationally and at home, and to raise funds.

The line is the world extreme poverty line, below which 1.2 billion people live. That's a mind boggling number. The line is £1 a day. £1 a day for food - all your food for one day.

Bringing closer to home: 13 million people live in poverty in the UK. 600,000 of those live in Greater Manchester - 1 in 4 people. 3.9 million children in the UK live in poverty. 91,000 of those are children - the majority have 1 or more parents in work.

These are the people that access foodbanks - over 1 million times in the past year. 1 million times when someone would go hungry instead.

They do this week in, week out, unrelentingly.

6 pounds, 6 days

As a result, I will live below the line for 6 days. That's the 5 days people normally do, with a day on top. I'll be doing this from Sunday 23rd July 2017 to Friday 28th July 2017.

Why Manchester Food Bank

It's on our doorstep. It's personal. 1 in 4 people in manchester are in poverty. No-one chooses poverty - poverty chooses them. Manchester Food Bank was seeded by the Trussel Trust, and supported by them as part of their national collective of foodbanks. 

Why am I doing this?

I'm doing this because I think modern society should be able to exist without people living on the borders of starvation. Many years ago I had to live on a similar budget to this, but I think things have become worse. I was lucky enough to be able to use education to lift myself out of that. Many people are not lucky enough to do that. In the absence of change, they need assistance.

I feel strongly that foodbanks should not need to exist, and that they are a failure of society. Until they're no longer needed, those using foodbanks need help.

Lastly, it's in essence to raise awareness and to try and do something positive that I couldn't do myself.

Why such a high target?

Because it matters. I've picked a figure that is achievable and would make a difference. Yes, it's a hard target, but if I get 1/2 way there I will have succeeded. Every level of support helps. Some baseline numbers: £10 buys a basket of food for an emergency food parcel, £25 buys a family 3 days of food. (£2/day is not luxury), £50 restocks supplies on the things the food back runs short of for 1 week

Which ever way you look at it, the target makes a difference.

  • Helps 100 families over a difficult period. Just 100 families. On average 400 people.?
  • Or it helps 250 people in a period of emergency
  • Or it helps the foodbank for a whole year to not worry about things they run short of.

No matter the actual amount raised though, it makes a difference.

Bear in mind:

  • How much do you spend on entertainment a week / a month? Can you go without that once?
  • Rather than a take away, can you cook at home instead?
  • If you're contemplating a new gadget, can you wait a month and instead donate 1/12th the cost?
  • As little as £1 helps, that seems like a little, but it can /literally/ be a day's food for someone.

You might not be in a position to help financially. I get that.

  • If you can't give, please share this page, this helps. Each time you share this page, you increase the chances of another £10 towards the goal.
  • Failing that, please add foods to a collection point. It goes directly to helping the same foodbanks.

Gift Aid

Please, PLEASE, please gift aid your donation if you can. It boosts the intake. it means that every £20 donated raises £25 for the charity - with the extra £5 coming from taxes you already pay - forcing the govt to do a tiny fraction of their part too.

Donate via text

You can also donate via mobile phone. Examples:
  • If you want to donate 5 days' food - £10 - you do this by texting "MCFB75 £10" to 70070
  • If you want to donate a day's food - £2 - you do this by texting "MCFB75 £2" to 70070


I'll track my progress here: . I'll provide proof of costs here as well. The key practicality is that you can only eat foods you buy that week.

One common/small exception I've noticed is people allow themselves salt and pepper. (Since you buy those very very rarely, and use fractions of a penny if that if anything) But no spices, *nothing* else you might take for granted.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.