If you know who Gwyneth Paltrow is, you probably have an opinion about her. She is a well-known actress and author. She is also successful, affluent and wants to share how she lives with the world. Her lifestyle website “Goop” features a shopping section including $1,200 shirts and lower east side gallery guides. What you may not know is that last week, she attempted the #FoodBankNYCChallenge. This means she was allocating 29$ for herself to buy groceries for a week. If also means that this would be a drastic change and she cited herself that she was “Dubious that I could complete the week.” You can see a photo of what she bought below. It was taken directly from her Twitter page (@GwynethPaltrow).
There are many positive and negative reverberations from this photograph and the attempt. I say attempt because she admitted that she only lasted four days and had to buy chicken, fresh vegetables and some licorice. First of all she made a donation to the NYC food bank. This alone was probably a hefty contribution and will influence others to donate as well. She also failed the challenge, which is actually positive because it demonstrates how difficult it is for people relying on SNAP benefits. She nominated other people after her challenge and helped in the initiation of a chain. This challenge could spread like the ALS ice bucket challenge. And while that endeavor received a lot of backlash, it still raised 220 million for ALS! She is also promoting wholesome, healthy food options that can be bought on SNAP. We can only hope that this challenge reaches people and invited them to investigate the realities of SNAP benefits, poverty and malnutrition.
There are also a fair amount of criticisms about Gwyneth Paltrow’s take on the #FoodBankNYCChallenge. She bought some items that are probably not realistic for someone on such a limited budget. For example, there are seven limes shown and fresh garlic, cilantro and corn. Lime juice, minced garlic, dried cilantro and canned corn can go a lot farther and store longer. She also explained that her children loved one of the recipes, but the $29 is only for one person. If she was cooking for her children, then she would have more money allocated to her in real life and in the challenge. One could also say she has discriminatory views on how people eat based on quotes from her past. She said “I would rather smoke crack than eat cheese out of a tin” and “I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-A-Soup.” Most people have eaten these products and they are the same products that often show up in food banks. Unfortunately, she also told ELLE UK that “I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody that makes $25,000 a year.” Yet here she is pretending to make even less than that.
Overall, maybe she was not the “best” celebrity to take the challenge but at least she took it and at least she is trying to influence others. It has led to me researching it and to you reading about it. She has some weird thoughts but her heart is in the right place and she has personally inspired me!