October 2, 2023

Could You Live on $2 a Day?

UMW students led by Professor Shawn Humphrey (second from left) build a shelter as part of the $2 a Day Challenge

One student pooled his $2 with a friend to buy a jar of generic peanut butter. Another planned to buy rice and beans. Associate Professor of Economics Shawn Humphrey used his $10 for the week up-front to buy basic groceries to last him until Friday.

Humphrey and 35 UMW students are participating in the annual $2 a Day Challenge, an experiential learning exercise aimed at raising awareness and funds for poverty-related causes.

For the week, they will live in a self-made structure on Ball Circle and spend only $2 each day on food and other expenses. In the process, they hope to raise more than $2,000 for La Ceiba, a microfinance institution, while shedding light on poverty issues.

“The $2 a Day Challenge was born out of the classroom,” Humphrey said. “Education is the primary focus.”

The $2 a Day Challenge, founded by Humphrey, is in its sixth year at UMW. The program is part of the larger TDC organization, which also includes the Month of Microfinance movement and the Poverty Action Conference. This year, several other universities, including Wake Forest and Elon, are holding $2 a Day Challenges.

To hear from students and learn more about the challenge, visit http://www.umw.edu/news/2012/04/02/umw-students-raise-awareness-of-poverty-through-2-challenge/.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.