Ben Affleck to live below poverty line

Ben Affleck, star and director of this year’s Oscar-winner Argo, will live below the extreme poverty line for five days. No, it’s not an attempt to get rid of his paunch. He’s signed up to take the Live Below the Line challenge, an initiative started by the Global Poverty Project. Between April 29 to May 3, Ben will live on only $1.50 per day, the accepted international economic marker of the extreme poverty line. Currently, approximately 1.4 billion people survive on this amount or less per day. Over the entire five days, Ben will be allowed to eat and drink no more than $7.50 worth of products, even if they come from his backyard, although tap water is fair game. Ben isn’t the only celebrity joining the poverty awareness campaign – Sophia Bush and Josh Groban, among others, have also signed on. Last year, more than 15,000 people participated and raised $3 million. The Global Poverty Project is hoping to raise even more money this year.

The Hollywood actor, producer, and director is encouraging others to take the challenge as well. He will be raising funds for his charity, the Eastern Congo Initiative, which provides economic and social assistance for people in the Eastern Congo. The Global Poverty Project has partnered with many nonprofit groups in addition to Ben’s charity and will use the money to help fight global issues like poverty and human trafficking. ~Cassie Jasinski

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Comments & Discussion

  1. David • April 25, 2013 @ 10:12 AM

    Ooooooo, 5 WHOLE days?! How will he ever make it?

  2. Candice • April 25, 2013 @ 10:20 AM

    I think this is a great idea. People spend money left, right and center and they don’t know what the value of a penny is anymore (figure of speech, I know they aren’t worth anything). I’m a student and I don’t live within my means, I’d do this for charity but also do it to learn to save 🙁

  3. Nicole • April 25, 2013 @ 1:25 PM

    Wow, 5 whole days you gotta be kidding me?!?! try living like that for 2 weeks or a month or even a year bro… then you’ll understand 5 days won’t show you nothing, i mean its a good thought but its not enough

  4. Pyrilamine • April 25, 2013 @ 1:47 PM

    5 days isn’t enough. That’s crazy… he probably won’t get sick or anything in that time which means he isn’t going to get the full effect of living below the poverty line in America ( of all places ).

  5. Sara • April 25, 2013 @ 1:55 PM

    I’m glad that he’s going to give it a try. At least it’s a start.

  6. Joel • April 25, 2013 @ 2:50 PM

    Think about the jobs that will be lost because of this!

    Assume he consumes ~$3 million each year (which is probably low given his net worth is $65 million according to, but lets go with that for a minute). That means that in 5 days he spends over $41,000. That’s a good year’s salary for us lowly peons. That’s $41,000 less Ben Affleck will spend and $41,000 less someone else will earn.

    That means that for every celebrity who signs up to this challenge, there is the equivalent of one middle class person who loses his job. Way to go you Elite Hollywood Snobs! Where’s your heart?

  7. Nick • April 25, 2013 @ 3:03 PM

    Everyone’s comments were typed from a computer that couldn’t be afforded on $1.50. Don’t put down the effort of others as you sit in your comfortable home.

  8. Joel • April 25, 2013 @ 3:15 PM


    I see plenty of welfare recipients walking around with iPhones.

  9. C-Dub1 • April 25, 2013 @ 5:03 PM

    5 days is just a taste. I think it’s admirable especially since he’s got the means to live better than most people, so to do this for 5 days is actually pretty impressive. That means no Starbucks in the morning=coffee headaches, no bottled water (he needs tap water unfiltered), no burgers unless they are that cheap, no buying of clothes etc…
    He has means to live better and I hoe he’s not just raising money for awareness without his own actual money contributions, so if he does 5 days honestly and contributes money, then that’s pretty good in my books.

  10. Ann • April 26, 2013 @ 9:17 AM

    It always upsets me that so many are so hateful about those who have earned and made a good life and large income. Ben has worked for his career and his money and worked hard and the man cares. Why slap at someone just because they are better off than you are. I admire that Mr Affleck is willing to jump on board with this. He is one of the few who acts as well as speaks and I appreciate that so much. Good for you Ben Affleck!!

  11. Cherri • April 26, 2013 @ 9:35 AM

    @Joel preach! I live in Scarborough, I know what you mean

  12. Ur mom • April 26, 2013 @ 11:48 AM

    Tis is for awareness, people. Calm the f*** down!!
    Many celebs have done this already and they acknowledge that the challenge doesn’t even touch the lifestyle of poverty.
    They’re doing this for awareness and raise money for the charity.

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