Hollywood celebrities have an obsession with trying to identify with the poor and needy. Gwyneth Paltrow decided to try the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food stamp challenge and she failed four days in.
She was originally challenged by celebrity chef Mario Batali to take part in the #FoodBankNYCChallenge. The challenge was created to raise awareness for families that are forced to live on the meager income provided by SNAP.
Paltrow’s challenge was to live on $29 per week, the amount an average person using SNAP receives. Feeling like she knew better than most, she truly believed she had a strong education and knew what type of foods to purchase. Four days later, she caved in, and gave up.
“As I suspected, we only made it through about four days, when I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice),” she wrote on her blog, GOOP. “My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days — a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year.”
What did she buy? Her grocery list included a dozen eggs, some black beans and brown rice, various fresh fruit and vegetables and seven limes.
This is what $29 gets you at the grocery store—what families on SNAP (i.e. food stamps) have to live on for a week. pic.twitter.com/OZMPA3nxij
— Gwyneth Paltrow (@GwynethPaltrow) April 9, 2015
Experts analyzed her grocery list and concluded that an average person would only be able to consume 1,000 calories per day using this grocery list over the course of a week.
Critics didn’t miss the opportunity to poke fun at the celebrity.
“Don’t worry, poor people: Gwyneth Paltrow is here to show you how to GOOP your food-stamp benefits,” someone tweeted late last week.
Instead of feeling embarrassed, Paltrow took the opportunity to highlight inequality.
“I am even more outraged that there is still not equal pay in the workplace,”she wrote. “Sorry to go on a tangent, but many hardworking mothers are being asked to do the impossible: Feed their families on a budget which can only support food businesses that provide low-quality food. The food system in our beautiful country needs to be subjected to a heavy revision — it is a cyclical problem, with repercussions that we all feel. I’m not suggesting everyone eat organic food from some high horse in the sky. I’m saying everyone should be able to afford fresh, real food. And if women were paid an equal wage, families might have more of a choice in the grocery aisles, not to mention in the rest of their lives.”
“I know hunger doesn’t always touch us all directly — but it does touch us all indirectly,” she added. “After this week, I am even more grateful I am able to provide high-quality food for my kids.”
Photo credit: Guardian TV.