Yesha Callahan

Gwyneth Paltrow Receives Criticism for SNAP Challenge

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In an attempt to raise awareness about the SNAP program and the food bank crisis in New York City, Gwyneth Paltrow took part in the SNAP challenge. For a week, Paltrow had to leave off of $29 in SNAP benefits, which is typically what a single person in New York City receives.

Sadly, Paltrow squandered most of it on limes. Maybe she plans on living off of Margaritas for a week?

In any event, Paltrow is just another rich and famous person trying to raise awareness about something they get to leave behind in a week. These SNAP challenges undermine the real issue many people are facing on the program. First, there are states like Missouri who want to eliminate certain foods from the SNAP program.  Then you have the issue of poverty. People making use of SNAP have other things to worry about like overdue bills, lack of employment, lack of childcare, you know…poor people issues. Things that Paltrow won’t have to worry about during her week trial of being hungry.

Sorry, as much as I want to cheer Paltrow on with her SNAP challenge, I’m still reminded of the fact that while she’s eating limes and one avocado for breakfast, she’s still selling $500 Goop t-shirts and is rich.

 

  1. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    Le sigh and epic fail. This sadly is not how you raise awareness. Hunger and homelessness are some of the major issues affecting our society and the ones who get hurt are children. It’s really sad that we elect public officials who are willing to gut the most vulnerable.

  2. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    Thanks for posting this, it prompted me to read about the SNAP challenge on its website. It’s so sad there are people expected to survive on $4.00/per day for food, you never know what someone else is going through. I commend anyone who takes this challenge and follows the sample menu like Cory Booker did previously, I would like to know why these GOP politicians believe people are buying lobster and steak with food stamps.

    Someone said Gwyneth’s groceries look like a Pinterest board for a detox cleanse-lmao

  3. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    I don’t understand why she would receive criticism because as a privileged celebrity she should experience how a poor person has to survive. I don’t get how the government expects a poor person with children to survive.

    • April 15, 2015 - Reply

      @Mary Burrell

      Raising awareness is one thing. Parading in a petty attempt to experience of being poor is common poverty voyerism between the middle/upper/rich class that’s disgusting. Gwen is a rich white girl whose never had to experience the woes of poverty.

      In this project she has the greenest on a below budget groceries I’ve ever seen most people and families would not allocate the same budget that way. She also at the same time goes home to her flat in NY or England and makes money off her site in the background.

      So yeah no attack on you just stating how ignorant this is from the queen of ignorance.

      • April 15, 2015 - Reply

        @Anonin

        She’s a vegan/semi-vegetarian or whatever, no? Hence all the greens. Mario Batali, the celeb chef, started this challenge and actually contributes to food banks in NYC. He walks the walk, at least.

        • April 15, 2015 - Reply

          @AfroCapricornette

          I know she’s a vegan, I know a lot about her which is why I don’t think she’s doing much. Good for Mario though.

      • April 15, 2015 - Reply

        @Anonin

        In a way, though, doesn’t she kind of prove the point? That she and other people have no clue what it’s like to try to live on a budget? In that way, she’s kind of succeeded, by failing to buy anything more than a night’s worth of taco party. Also, she’s obviously hording Coronas somewhere with all those limes.

      • April 15, 2015 - Reply

        @Anonin

        @Anonin: I hear you and no offense taken. I usually get annoyed with Paltrow and you bring good points. i wasn’t looking at the bigger picture. I had this same conversation on another blog site about how black folks should eat healthy. I posted not everyone can afford to buy fresh produce many people suffer from food insufficiency.Food is very expensive and i am thing about elderly and poor people on food stamps. Everyone doesn’t have access to a garden to plant fresh vegetables. Yes, everything you said was right Paltrow gets to play a poor person for a couple of days and then goes home to her fancy estate and her personal chef. The poor of America not so much. I feel you and what you were saying.

      • April 16, 2015 - Reply

        @Anonin

        Cory Booker did it; where was all the disgust then. It seems the annoyance comes from the fact that she is WHITE and RICH and had the audacity to want to participate in drawing attention to the issue. In your world, just let her donate some money and go do some Pilates.

        • April 16, 2015 - Reply

          @Justmythoughts

          I don’t even know who you’re talking about, so that argument is going nowhere.

  4. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    And the elderly are having a hard time with a small social security check. The government sucks.

  5. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    this is yet another form of poverty tourism. these celebrities & politicians & “do gooders” get to “feel” what it’s like to be poor for a few moments & then turn around and go back to their cushy lives like nothing happened. poor folks don’t have the luxury of putting poverty on & off like it’s a piece of clothing.

    everybody knows it’s nearly impossible to live off $29 a week. you don’t have to act poor to understand that it’s a hardship. raising awareness means making other people aware of the fact that that’s what poor folks are living on. don’t mock the poor & pat yourself on the back for walking in their shoes.

    the other problem i have w/this is what happens if paltrow finds a way to live off those $29 and doesn’t think it’s that difficult? does that make her better at being poor than actual poor folks? is this going to turn into a bunch of celebs giving poor folks tips on how to get by on $29 a week? poor people don’t need your war stories. they need legislation & real changes.

    these challenges will end up being like every other “challenge” that yuppies like to put together. you’ll get a lot of folks doing the challenge for s&g and so they can post about it on youtube & twitter, but no one actually working to solve the problem.

    • April 15, 2015 - Reply

      @Me

      You know what. I never thought about it like that. Those are excellent points. Too many celebrities have paternalistic mentalities in dealing with poor people and minorities.

    • April 15, 2015 - Reply

      @Me

      Thank you!!! Plus Paltrow is well known for these detox diets and eating very limited amounts of calories to stay fit. It is not healthy for an average who works by the way (only 20% of SNAP recipients have no other source of income) to consume so few calories. My other issue with these types of challenges is that people assume that oh yeah I go just go to my local Whole Foods and outdoor market and pick up fresh food… Most poor or working class americans live in a designated food desert – Whole Foods is not in the appalachias or in predominantly working class to poverty stricken neighborhood or countryside. Poverty is a systemic issue and living on $29 a week is just a piece of the pie but certainly not the whole.

      • April 16, 2015 - Reply

        @Amber

        Systemic in that people can’t feed themselves yet CHOOSE to have kids. I was on the NYC subway the other morning, headed to work when I saw this young Latina feeding her 3 yr old Skittles meanwhile she pulls out a iPad mini and a iPhone 6. You tell me where is the logic.

        • April 16, 2015 - Reply

          @Justmythoughts

          so are you saying that people w/apple products aren’t allowed to feed their kids skittles? or that only people on gov’t assistance eat skittles? or that latinas w/children must automatically be on welfare? what logic are you talking about? b/c your example doesn’t say anything about the topic at hand other than you ride around on subways judging people you don’t even know.

          • April 16, 2015 - Reply

            @Me

            Guess that was a side rant perhaps not associated directly with this post but maybe they should challenge people to get off of SNAP as opposed to debating what they can buy with the free money they are getting.

            • April 16, 2015 - Reply

              @Justmythoughts

              it’s not free money. everybody that works & pays sales taxes in their state have funded welfare programs. people who use those programs are just getting back money that they put in. maybe instead of arguing to get rid of snap, you should advocate to lower income taxes, state taxes, & sales taxes so everybody can keep a bigger part of their paychecks & rely less on the gov’t.

            • April 20, 2015 - Reply

              @Justmythoughts

              Latina mother giving her little girl a treat. Well then, she MUST be on the SNAP program (LMAO). So you are racist, judgmental, AND ignorant. I guess you have the solution! There should be laws against ANY child getting a treat if they have low income parents (if they even were). How do you know what that child ate the rest of the week, or month? How do you know that wasn’t her ONLY treat? You don’t. As usual, you know NOTHING, but just run your ignorant mouth. Either youre some rich, arrogant FOOL who has never been poor a day in his life, or you barely make more than minimum wage and think YOUR money is supporting the whole world. Either way, I hope you end up on food stamps, cuz it’s excuses for human beings like you who DESERVE to be. Go ahead, tell some more ignorant lies. Pathetic POS.

              • April 20, 2015 - Reply

                @ryan

                Say what you want, that woman wasn’t going to work. And it wasn’t a ‘treat’. Call me racist, elitist and any other adjectives you’d like. I will call myself a realist.

                • October 8, 2015 - Reply

                  @Justmythoughts

                  There was nothing real about your statements about that woman and her child. You were making assumptions and judgments. No facts and nothing real there.

    • April 18, 2015 - Reply

      @Me

      You are preaching all up and down this post!! AMEN SISTER!

  6. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    Thanks for the slum tour, totally necessary.
    Lost this one, huh? Aw, SNAP!

    I’ll see myself out.

  7. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    The real injustice is how the poor are scapegoated and many are asked to live on starvation wages. That injustice is a whole lot worse than Gwyneth Paltrow’s challenge (though I have some concerns about it). Yes, you know what I’m going to type next. Before, I type those words; I will like to mention this. I have no issue with the SNAP challenge per se, but it is not enough. Now, I will type the following words. I do disagree with Paltrow’s use of the N word. Overall, we have a crisis of poverty in America and throughout the Earth. Billions of people live on less than $5 a day. It has exacerbated over the course of years and decades (within the administrations of both Republicans and Democrats). Capitalist exploitation, militarism, and other austerity actions have contributed to the growth of poverty in society.

    A revolutionary strategy is necessary to address this issue like establishing a living wage, forming more worker and community ownership of enterprises, the formation of democratically determined economic policies, urban & rural reconstruction policies (like a new Marshall Plan for the 21st century. If the Marshall Plan can work in Europe, then it can work in America), and opposing regressive taxes. The poor need not only jobs, but social and economic empowerment.

  8. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    Everyone knows it’s hard to live on as little as $30/day (even less in some states) but I sorta feel uncomfortable when we pile on celebs for trying to highlight the situation by trying to “live” on this pitiful amount. Sure, she’ll probably supplement her kales and limes with gluten-free wheat chicken (or the latest fad in meat) but I like to believe she’s doing it for awareness, not for us mere mortals (we know), but for her fellow lords and ladies who really don’t know how hard it is. Heck, I can’t even live on what she bought! Where’s the meat/carbs?

    It’s really hard for a lot of people and I never forget to give thanks (like we all should) that I can afford to buy whatever I feel like eating.

    • April 15, 2015 - Reply

      @AfroCapricornette

      Agreed, and this issue addresses our economy as a whole. Politicians don’t talk about how there are a lot of people working full time who still need food stamps to survive, because their employers pay lousy wages. A few years ago I noticed a “we accept EBT” sign in a Duane Reade in midtown Manhattan of all places. So basically taxpayers eventually supplement the income of many low income people who receive benefits, because so many companies are too cheap to pay their workers decent salaries. I know a guy working a 40 hour/week retail job with a major retailer, and he is applying for food stamps. Being constantly hungry is bad enough, can’t imagine what its like to work full time and still need assistance just to eat, but that’s how messed up our economy is. .

      • April 15, 2015 - Reply

        @vintage3000

        When I worked big-box retail during grad school, along with the standard forms new hires fill in, we were automatically given SNAP and other benefit forms. I can still remember that my group of 5 Black females were told by the training guy (white male), “don’t forget to fill the forms to get food stamps for your kids”. We looked at each other in silence till the eldest one of us said, “we don’t have kids yet”. His face…lol. Yeah, even a 40-hr doesn’t pay enough for food…what!?! Walmart has apparently raised their hourly wages…hmmn…

        • April 18, 2015 - Reply

          @AfroCapricornette

          Well that was nice…in a shitty/awkward kind of way.Years ago I worked for a moving rental company( I don’t need to say the name) and they not only paid us $6 or $7/hr, but had the nerve to sponsor a food drive. Their own employees were barely eating and they wanted us to donate food.

    • April 15, 2015 - Reply

      @AfroCapricornette

      my big problem w/it is that it’s a very hands off approach to helping folks. how many poor folks do you think paltrow actually meets on a daily basis? she’s trying to enact change w/o actually getting to know any of the folks she’s pretending to be w/this challenge. it’s just as out of touch as any republican bill that tries to get poor folks to “pull themselves outta poverty”.

      if she truly wanted to learn what it’s like to be poor & living on assistance, she could volunteer at a shelter or spend a day at the welfare office & actually see what poverty looks like. volunteer at an elementary school kitchen that’s located in a poor neighborhood & see how many kids go w/o food b/c free lunch programs are going through budget cuts. go on a hunger strike until legislation passes that address food desserts or until kansas & missouri repeal those welfare restrictions they just sent to congress.

      don’t phone in the activism & then pretend like you know the struggle & are committed to getting things fixed. b/c when folks like paltrow decide fighting the bureaucracy is too much to handle, all she has to do is find another cause to attach her name to & nobody will even remember her little challenge. when folks on twitter copy her challenge & decide to live off $29 for a week, they help nobody. that extra grocery money they don’t spend for that week sits in their bank accounts waiting to be splurged on some other privilege. but when life gets hard for poor folks, there is no other option. they eat or starve for the day or the week. i remember that nj mayor did a challenge once. what came outta that? did he even help his own city pass any new laws to help the poor? nope. but it got him lots of press & made him favorable for when he ran for senate. meanwhile nobody’s thinking about the poor folks he left behind after his challenge though. these types of awareness challenges are more like publicity stunts than anything else.

      • April 15, 2015 - Reply

        @Me

        Agreed. In the social media age we live in, it’s easier to be a virtual activist than an actual one. Is SNAP not controlled by USDA? Apart from that, most people use food stamp $$ for shelter/clothing w/little or none left for food! Increasing min wage would help and I support this as I worked min wage at a point.

        • April 15, 2015 - Reply

          @AfroCapricornette

          i’m not sure if snap gets part of it’s funding from usda, but it’s definitely run by the states. that’s why they have so many different names besides food stamps now that they don’t give out actual stamps anymore. increasing min wage would do so much for this country. it just amazes me how some people refuse to see that. when 9/11 hit, bush focused on stimulating the economy & getting folks spending more. when the recession hit, obama focused on stimulating spending. it just makes sense that increasing wages would stimulate spending & grow our economy, yet they keep trying to milk all these beat down turnips instead. the insanity has to stop.

  9. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    I have had my fill of Goop!

    Now let us be honest, the amount of food she purchased for $29.00 won’t last a week.

    Oh an are any of you aware of the club she is opening in Hollywood? The club with the $2000 dollar membership fee? Gee, guess after I have my luxurious budget of $29.00 bucks a week for food, why I’ll have enough money left over for the membership.

    • April 15, 2015 - Reply

      @G

      Oh, I go on Goop from time to time to marvel at the calibre of humans that have $$ to spend on frivolities. One time I saw an “affordable” pair of designer boots on sale for almost $1000 and I thought, “what was the original price?” Lol. I mean, I actually fantasized about having that much disposable income, it was so heady. Even kids’ clothing was ridiculously priced! Ah well, it’s not for the 99% so no sour grapes from me.

  10. April 15, 2015 - Reply

    I would have more respect for her and other celebrities if they started food banks for poor people to have enough to eat

    • April 18, 2015 - Reply

      @Mary Burrell

      And put them where there are food deserts. AND the food comes from Whole foods or Trader Joe’s. That would be really nice.

  11. April 16, 2015 - Reply

    While most people realize that it is nearly impossible to live on $29 a week most people do not know that is the amount that many single people are receiving through SNAP. There is this belief (spread by what I believe are false anecdotes) that people receiving SNAP benefits are living the high life eating lobster, steak dribbled in truffle butter—all lies! I think her “SNAP challenge” is awesome if it helps educate.

  12. April 16, 2015 - Reply

    So its OK for Cory Booker to participate in a SNAP challenge but not her? Also most people on SNAP are getting other forms of assistance form the government including housing vouchers, daycare subsidies and free healthcare.So CRY ME a river on all this they have to piece together a meal and are starving. Try going to the supermarket on the 1st of the month, where you see shopping carts full of cases of Pepsi, chips, snack cakes and maybe a few packages of chicken. I’m so tired people making the wrong decisions in life over and over again and getting REWARDED for it.

    • April 20, 2015 - Reply

      @Justmythoughts

      How many times are you going to post the same stupid thing? I’m really sure YOU pay for all these people to survive (LOL). Maybe they’re buying junk food bcuz it leaves you full for longer, or it’s cheaper so it goes further. Maybe, just maybe, you don’t have a friggin CLUE what you’re talking about and are an IDIOT.

      • April 20, 2015 - Reply

        @ryan

        You can call me all the names you’d like, it still won’t change the facts. The numbers speak for themselves. Now my point was to say that calling attention to the difference in reaction in Booker vs. Paltrow. How about we challenge these folks to get off SNAP??

        • April 20, 2015 - Reply

          @Justmythoughts

          What numbers did you post? I only saw you talk about the ONE LATINA you saw giving her child one bag of candy, and you still did not clarify how you know she was on welfare.

      • April 20, 2015 - Reply

        @ryan

        Totally agree! If a person’s salary is 50k a year, $36 of that goes towards SNAP. That’s 3.00/month and 1.50/paycheck. But some people are fanatically bitter about that 1.50 is going to the poor, and want to control what they spend their SNAP benefits on. Ridiculous!

  13. April 16, 2015 - Reply

    So its OK for Cory Booker to participate in a SNAP challenge but not her? Also most people on SNAP are getting other forms of assistance form the government including housing vouchers, daycare subsidies and free healthcare.So CRY ME a river on all this they have to piece together a meal and are starving. Try going to the supermarket on the 1st of the month, where you see shopping carts full of cases of Pepsi, chips, snack cakes and maybe a few packages of chicken. I’m so tired people making the wrong decisions in life over and over again and getting REWARDED for it.

    • April 16, 2015 - Reply

      @Justmythoughts

      Cory Booker posted details of how he prepared his meals; with his failures, frustrations and all. Some people may feel doubtful about his intentions because he is a politician, but his effort was a lot more substantial than posting a pretty photo of cilantro, eggs (how is she going to cook those eggs, i don’t see any oil nor butter) and a few sprigs of produce, no seasonings and no carbs.

      btw maybe you should avoid the supermarkets on the first of the month, you seem very perturbed about what strangers are eating,-and how do you know these people are receiving federal assistance? Folks like you are always so concerned about someone getting something on your ‘dime’, are you this concerned about people who work and still need food stamps because they received minimum wage salaries from employers who can pay a lot more?

      Or maybe you can start nutrition classes. If a millionaire celeb like Gwyneth does not know how to grocery shop properly, why do you think all these random strangers you automatically assume receive food stamps will know.

      • April 16, 2015 - Reply

        @vintage3000

        Cory participated under the same guise as Gwyneth, to bring attention to the issue and themselves. Yes I’m perturbed that I get up each morning and go to work so that they are able to shop at Farmer’s markets, buy tons of food. I am concerned about folks who work and need additional assistance; concerned that they haven’t figured out a way to survive on their own. Stop having 2 and 3 kids when you can’t feed yourself! BTW they already have nutrition classes, parental care classes, daycare, reduced transit costs, medical benefits. All things I pay for because I think about my future and don’t live in the moment.

        • April 16, 2015 - Reply

          @Justmythoughts

          “Cory participated under the same guise as Gwyneth ”

          And once again, his challenge was not widely ridiculed because his shopping and cooking choices provided actual detail about the issue of poverty. Did you even read any of his posts, or are you just kvetching because Gwyneth is being laughed at? And trust, if a wealthy Black person posted the same photo that Gwyneth did, with a definitive “this is what $29 gets you at the grocery store” comment, they would be laughed at too.

          And unless you personally monitor everyone you see with carts full of snack foods, soda etc. and follow them up to the register to oversee their method of payment, you have NO way of knowing if they are paying with food stamps. Upthread you assumed a Latina woman giving her kid candy was on welfare, do you assume a white woman on the subway giving her kids chips is on welfare? And you want to talk about who are some of the main recipients of food stamps in NYC? Google Hasidic & Orthodox Jews, public assistance, food stamps, etc. and they tend to have entire tribes of kids in one family. Plus they ride the subway as well, for some odd reason they are never included in the narrative of people who say things like “Stop having 2 and 3 kids when you can’t feed yourself”

        • April 16, 2015 - Reply

          @Justmythoughts

          I understand your argument. I know a single mom w/kids that receives SNAP and buys packaged treats. I mean ice creams, tostitos, frozen pizzas etc. Sometimes, she would throw some out for freezer burn…what??? One day, I just mentioned that she could actually buy meat and raw foods and cook from scratch. Much healthier and would last and I offered to show her how. No point in mentioning the insults I got to mind my business.

          Granted, clueless people like this exist but I don’t think they form a majority of those on SNAP. Maybe, what’s needed is nutrition class like you mentioned. Them buying veg from farmer’s markets is actually good for their health. I don’t mind that. ‘Sides, no big deal in buying steak. Lamb steaks are cheap in my neck o’ the woods but who even buys lobster like the right always say? Not even middle America buys lobster for everyday meals.

      • April 16, 2015 - Reply

        @vintage3000

        I don’t have a deep response but I’m assuming she will boil the eggs. She doesn’t seem like the type to cook them in oil.

  14. April 16, 2015 - Reply

    I think this is a case of loving the message, hating the messenger. Ms. Paltrow public image is unfortunately one of a phony elitist. She is so obtuse that she could not even clearly say to the media that she and her husband were splitting up, she had to use the term “conscious uncoupling”, WTF!!
    This impact of her taking part in the SNAP challenge is that it detracts from the issue and focusses on all the negatives that she generate, commenters are so focused on her continued obtuseness that it ends up lowering the importance of the fact that our food programs does not do enough to feed the people in need. If Ms. Paltrow really wants to contribute to this movement she should do it from behind the scenes her public image does not lend to engendering sympathy for poor people. It lends to the idea that the people who support progressive food stamp reforms have no idea what they are talking about. The road to hell is sometimes paved with good intentions and this may be an unfortunate example of that idiom.

    • April 18, 2015 - Reply

      @Rastaman

      Gone and preach rasta man!

  15. April 18, 2015 - Reply

    I think her point is she know they need more than that.A solution for the poor and the none disabled would be to just create on the job training jobs and actually hire people vs using hiring ads that you know most people can’t stack up to.

  16. April 18, 2015 - Reply

    Would you rather pay for someone food or hire them and let them earn more and buy their own food? If all fails get two jobs or add in weekends!

  17. April 18, 2015 - Reply

    I don’t mean to be petty, but she could have stretched some of her dollars if she bought frozen or canned vegetables and beans, only got one onion, regular bread, and some tuna and cheese. Fresh produce is expensive, but junk food is cheap. Two family size bags of Doritos for $6, plus some hot dogs for $3, buns $1 and pop 2 for $3 or $5? It’s not the healthiest, but those kids will be full for two days max! Some people assume that the poor are ignorant on nutrition, but when you’re poor, you’re thinking of survival first and nutrition later.

  18. April 19, 2015 - Reply

    Spoken like someone who doesn’t have the guts to do the challenge themselves, so they must criticize others who do. No matter what the intent, it has to be wrong? She can’t just stop being rich for a week, but she can use that wealth to spread awareness of her “SNAP” decision for that week. I for one applaud her choice.

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