Gwyneth Paltrow is on food stamps. As sensational (and unbelievable) a headline as that would be, the A-list Hollywood actress and founder of upscale lifestyle website GOOP is actually living the food stamp life — temporarily — to raise awareness about food insecurity.After chef Mario Batali challenged her on Twitter to take the Food Bank NYC Challenge, Paltrow agreed to survive on a food stamp budget for one week (she’ll use just $29, or $1.38 per meal) to draw attention to how SNAP participants have to live every day.
Paltrow already took to Twitter to post her grocery haul using the meager budget. She bought rice, beans, eggs, and vegetables.
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
But celebrities aren’t the only ones using this challenge to raise awareness. Anyone can take the Food Bank NYC Challenge. According to the rules, you can use coupons, but you can’t rely on food from others or eat food you already have in the house.
“For one week, walk in someone else’s shoes,” chef Mario Batali said in the Food Bank challenge video. “Knowledge is power, and by truly understanding what our friends are going through, we will be better equipped to find solutions.”
Paltrow has been raked over the coals for her participation, with many pointing out that, because she is a multi-millionaire, she can go back to her life of luxury on the eighth day. Others criticized her grocery choices, saying that buying romaine lettuce, limes, and jalapeños is pretty wasteful, since these choices are very low in calories.