Students participate in $1.90 a day challenge

Compassion International at Baylor uses the $1.90 challenge to raise awareness about poverty. Photo illustration by Camryn Duffy

By Ana Ruiz Brictson | Staff Writer

After a week of its $1.90 challenge, Compassion International at Baylor has seen students joining its club, showing interest in volunteering and raising awareness for poverty.

On March 21, Compassion International launched a challenge in which people buy a day’s worth of food for only $1.90 and post on social media using the #1day190 with the purpose of showing what it would be like to sustain oneself on a poverty-stricken budget.

Lydia Dickens, strategic partnerships fellow of Compassion International, said after having 12 members show up to their first in-person meeting two weeks ago, around 30 people joined their GroupMe showing interest in joining the club. There are currently 45 people in the GroupMe.

According to Dickens, they have observed how several hundred people have visited their website and thousands have announced and shared information regarding the poverty line.

The organization has yet to be announced as an officially chartered organization.

“There are already so many students interested and really passionate about Compassion’s mission, and so they’re already having meetings as they’re getting ready to be officially chartered,” Dickens said.

Houston sophomore and club founder Maggie Summerlin said the challenge went a lot better than she could have ever anticipated.

“I think it took more of a turn toward people sharing the graphics than just thinking about it and changing perspectives,” Summerlin said. “I think it’s the biggest blessing of it all — the fact that we get to impact the way someone looks at their food — even if they aren’t directly participating in the challenge or they’re not posting about it.”

Summerlin participated in the challenge herself and said she only had three chicken nuggets. She posted the challenge on her Instagram story.

Lubbock freshman and club member Ash Bumstead said he decided to participate in the $1.90 challenge because he believes it does a great job of raising awareness and advocacy for poverty.

Bumstead said he was able to buy an apple and a small packet of Jif Peanut Butter. He said he had a slight headache and could tell the difference in his energy levels throughout the day; however, it is nothing compared to what people who live like this experience every day.

“I think the $1.90 challenge is a fantastic way to continue spreading awareness, and compared to what these people have to go through each and every day, it is a very small sacrifice to be hungry for one day,” Bumstead said.

Atlanta freshman and club member Grace Bowing said what made the $1.90 challenge so impactful for her was that it visualized what it really means.

“It doesn’t make as big of an impact unless you see it, unless when you see the statistics of it,” Bowing said.

Bowing said she completed the challenge with dining hall food, looking up what the cost of each product/meal would be and selecting from it.

“Your one picture on Instagram can really influence people’s donation to the ministry, and I think that was the main part of it,” Bowing said.

Dickens said Compassion International at Baylor will be wrapping up the $1.90 a day challenge at the end of this week. However, it continues to encourage people to participate through social media after that.