It’s one of the many ongoing debates between the wealthy and the poverty-stricken and now Gwyneth Paltrow is jumping into the mix by taking the NYC Food Bank challenge. The challenge in which Ms. Paltrow is participating was started by the NYC food banks in response to a recent cut in food stamps, the second such cut. The cuts force many families to either try to manage on just $29 per week per person, as Gwyneth is doing, or overcrowd the already overburdened food banks around the city.
Some doubt Ms. Paltrow’s ability to stick to the challenge, as well as Gwyneth’s unrealistic approach to the $29 limit. While Ms. Paltrow should be commended for trying to stick to her healthy diet, some argue that Gwyneth is surely out of touch with the issue if she thinks most families will opt for lettuce and avocados over Ramen noodles and hot dogs.
“I know other people are critiquing this already, but this bothers me on a basic level because eight of those 16 items are not calorically significant [sic],” Writer Rebecca Vipond Brink commented on Gwyneth’s choice of foods. “Nutritionally speaking, this is a vitamin bonanza…But people who live on SNAP benefits don’t just have to get nutrients, they have to get actual calories, because they tend to have very physical lives, doing service labor and taking care of children and not necessarily being able to afford a car and so forth.”
In fact, judging by the picture of Paltrow’s groceries she posted to Twitter, Gwyneth seems to be going with a strictly Mexican theme. Perhaps Ms. Paltrow is reliving that vacation she just took with the children and ex Chris Martin.
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
Ms. Paltrow may feel compelled to take part in something of this nature following recent attention she received for equating herself with the “common woman” while simultaneously purchasing items like that $2,295 bomber jacket.
“I’m incredibly close to the common woman in that I’m a woman and I’m a mother and we all are in a physical body with beating hearts with compassion and love we are all seekers…We all want fulfillment, we all want to live our best lives. We want to be healthy and happy and squeeze the most we can out of life. I think that’s all women.”
On a more positive note, Ms. Paltrow should certainly be commended for taking an interest in such a serious issue and for urging friends, including Sting, Blondie, and chef Mario Batali, to join her in the challenge. Gwyneth hopes the experience will help her and others feel what it’s really like to walk in the shoes of those less fortunate and, after one week, Ms. Paltrow may learn that things are not so easy as they seem.