Imagine if you had to live on just $29 per week for groceries. This is what families in need may be given per person for their food budget from the food stamp program Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (known as SNAP) after cuts were made by congress to the program since 2013.
Famed chef Mario Batali along with the Food Bank For New York City want to spread the word about hunger by urging friends and fans to take part in the “SNAP Challenge”, which is to live on $29 worth of food for one week. Batali sent out his challenge to famous friends like Sting, Blondie and Gwyneth Paltrow. But it seems there has been something of a backlash as people take to their social media to point out the hypocrisy in challenging the celeb and luxury-lifestyle blogger everyone loves to hate on – Gwyneth Paltrow.
Paltrow has been in hot water many times for her seemingly innocent comments that just add to how unrelatable she is (like the time she enraged working moms when she said she has a more difficult time working as an actress while raising kids than moms who work regular 9 – 5 jobs.) Add to this all of the insanely expensive items she recommends on her website GOOP and it’s not surprising to understand the negative reaction to her accepting Batali’s SNAP Challenge.
Yahoo! Celebrity reports about some of the reactions on Twitter like one who tweeted, “Don’t Worry, Poor People: Gwyneth Paltrow Is Here to Show You How to GOOP Your Food-Stamp Benefits.” The Oscar award winning actress tweeted a picture of the food she purchased on her $29 budget which included a caption reading, “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.” The mostly green items she chose included foods like scallions, limes, cilantro, some sort of lettuce, peas as well as a package of brown rice, black beans, a dozen eggs, and tortillas.
Though most of the reactions to her challenge have been negative like one person who tweeted, “Vast difference living on food stamps for 1 week knowing you’ve a safety net of millions, and that being your life every day Gwyneth Paltrow”, it’s important to point out that the actress has got everyone talking about hunger and that seems to be a step in the right direction.
What do you think of the reaction to Gwyneth Paltrow joining the SNAP Challenge?
Would you be able to live on $29 worth of groceries per week?
I am not dissing Gwyneth though. I do like her as an actress and a person. She knows she has it good but tries to see what it's like for the rest of us. She has a good heart and good intentions. I was just stating my opinion on the week challenge. And Gwyneth is the celebrity this post happened to be about.
No celebrity will ever be able to "live" off of $29 a week just for one week. They already are so used to what they have now. Only if they had lived on Snap before or lost everything, would they really know how it feels. Sometimes I am proud of being able to receive them and other times people make me feel ashamed. I do like the awareness sort of. I work part time and pay taxes while I receive these. But with awareness comes all the comments about people who just like to live off the state. Celebrities bring attention to the fact that you can live off of it But barely. I agree with the fact that people who really need it don't broadcast it. I don't want to be thrown into the pool of people that society thinks is just using the state and living off everyone else. As I said, I work too. But I do think that if Gwyneth had to live off that amount for More than just a week, she would definitely be choosing other things besides those. A week is NOT long enough for them to FEEL the impact.
You know why it takes a mostly celebrity participant challenge like this to bring awareness to hunger & how difficult it is to subsist on SNAP? Because the people who actually subsist on SNAP to survive are ashamed that they need it & suffer enough humiliation & self-righteous, uncalled for judgment by people who don't even know them or have any concept of how living a life where one NEEDS food stamps to survive effects a person every minute of every day of one's life. The real people who depend on SNAP don't broadcast to the world that they are on SNAP. They don't talk about it, tell anyone about it, & dread the judgmental eyes when using it. Unfortunately, Gwyneth blew the opportunity for anything good to come out of her "gesture" by not actually following through with it.
I admire Gwyneth. In the words of a famous brother, she is someone who "who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it." I wish more people were like her.