What It’s Like to Grocery Shop When You Live Below the Poverty Line

published Dec 20, 2016
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(Image credit: Tipping Point)

Ingredients and goods at the grocery store might have a fixed price, but that price can look different based on your annual income. A new website — Tipping Point — wants you to experience what it’s like to live below the poverty line, specifically in the Bay Area. According to Fast Company, about one in 10 families living in the Bay Area lives below the federal poverty line, which is $24,300. The site aims to give awareness to this issue and raise money for those in need.

The website is simple: Enter your yearly household income into the website and find out how everyday household items would “cost” you if you were living below the federal poverty line in San Fransisco.

The Tipping Point Community took over a convenience store in San Francisco to introduce “poverty line prices” to see how unassuming customers would react. The “poverty line prices” are what something like a gallon of milk, say, would look like if you made the average income in the Bay Area, which is around $150,000. If a gallon of milk costs $4.88, it would cost someone who lived on the poverty line about 1 percent of their weekly income. For the average income family, that would translate to the milk costing $16.85.

According to their website, Tipping Point has “helped 22,000 people get on the path out of poverty.” They are currently looking for more donations to help families in the new year.