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A group of Labour MPs will give up their Bellamys dinners and Copperfields lolly cups next week to see what it's like living in poverty.

Labour's deputy leader Grant Robertson, along with David Parker, Annette King, Phil Twyford and Jacinda Ardern, will take part in the Live Below the Line challenge.

It will see each of them subsist from Monday to Friday on just $2.25 worth of food - the extreme poverty line - each day.

Participants choose to sponsor one of eight non-governmental organisations, which include Unicef, Oxfam and World Vision.

In a post on the Labour Party's Red Alert blog, Mr Twyford said the Labour team's participation will be "a symbolic show of solidarity with the world's poor".

About 1.4 billion people worldwide live below the extreme poverty line.

Mr Twyford said some surprises may result from the challenge.

"You won't find the Labour team producing recipe books with cheerful meals that the unemployed can live on after (Social Development Minister) Paula Bennett has cut their benefits - that's more of a Tory thing," he wrote.

"But it might be worth keeping an eye on speeches in the house next week as the mind-altering effects of hunger kick in."

Last month, All Blacks legend Jonah Lomu announced he and his family will also take part in the challenge.

More than 1000 individuals and groups, including classes of school children, have signed up to take part, with more than $117,000 raised so far.

NZ Newswire

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