Gwyneth Paltrow is living off of food stamps for a week as part of Mario Batali’s “Food Bank Challenge,” where people are invited to limit their family’s food budget to $US31 per week — around $US1.38 per meal.
Paltrow, Hollywood actress and founder of lifestyle curation site GOOP, has often been criticised as being “rich and oblivious,” (her holiday gift guide once suggested a $US995 cashmere throw blanket).
She posted her grocery haul this week on Twitter, which totaled $US29.
But some folks on Twitter weren’t impressed with Paltrow’s attempt to join the commoners for a week’s worth of food shopping.
its so cool how celebs (gwyneth paltrow) can challenge themselves to live off a food stamp budget like its a game or something
— julianne knight (@jul_knight) April 12, 2015
Gwyneth Paltrow is trying to act all noble doing the food stamp challenge. When most women on food stamps are also trying to feed a family
— Disney Princess (@Sassierprincess) April 12, 2015
The Telegraph discussed Paltrow’s food stamp challenge in an article titled “No Gwyneth, busy mothers can’t live on lettuce, limes, and beans,” pointing out that “Ms Paltrow’s selection of green vegetables meant she would be consuming fewer than 1000 calories a day — that is about half what the NHS recommends for a healthy, balanced diet.”
“Nutritionally speaking, this is a vitamin bonanza,” Writer Rebecca Vipond Brink explained on The Frisky. “But people who live on [food stamps] don’t just have to get nutrients, they have to get actual calories, because they tend to have very physical lives, doing service labour and taking care of children and not necessarily being able to afford a car and so forth.”
Here’s Vipond’s idea of a more respectable shopping list on a $US29 budget — items like peanut butter, oatmeal, potatoes, and frozen chicken breasts all made that list.
But Vipond understands that a healthier $US29 shopping cart haul isn’t necessarily accessible for the 46 million American families living on SNAP (food stamps) and those who don’t live in walking or driving distance to a grocery store. Instead, they take advantage of the food that’s close and convenient — mostly fast food restaurants that offer a lot of food for a low price.
But if the point is not for Paltrow to live on lettuce and rice for a week, but instead to get people talking about the millions of people who struggle to access affordable and healthy food, then maybe it’s working.