Gwyneth Pal­trow flunks food stamp chal­lenge

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE -

Four days proved too much for Hol­ly­wood star Gwyneth Pal­trow when she tried to get by on a US$29 food-stamp bud­get, only to give up when chicken and black licorice beck­oned.

The “Iron Man” and “Shake­speare in Love” star was chal­lenged by celebrity chef Mario Batali to live on the equiv­a­lent of the av­er­age U.S. gov­ern­ment food stipend for low-in­come fam­i­lies.

The goal was to raise funds and public aware­ness for the Food Bank For New York City, which pro­vides mil­lions of free meals to New York­ers in need.

With US$29, Pal­trow filled her gro­cery bas­ket with a healthy­look­ing mix of eggs, black beans, let­tuce, kale, a tomato, some av­o­ca­dos and corn tor­tillas.

“As I sus­pected, we only made it through about four days, when I per­son­ally broke and had some chicken and fresh veg­eta­bles ( and in full trans­parency, half a bag of black licorice),” she wrote on her blog Thurs­day.

Giv­ing her­self a C mi­nus for her ef­forts, Pal­trow blamed in­come in­equal­ity be­tween men and women for the dif­fi­cul­ties that “hard­work­ing moth­ers” face in feed­ing their fam­i­lies.

Pal­trow, a mother of two, was seen Tues­day at a Los An­ge­les film pro­mo­tion event that fea­tured with an US$80-a-head prix fixe menu — although it’s un­clear if she ate from it, the E! show­biz net­work re­ported.

One in seven Amer­i­cans, or 46 mil­lion peo­ple, live on what the U.S. gov­ern­ment of­fi­cially calls the Sup­ple­men­tal Nu­tri­tion As­sis­tance Pro­gram, or SNAP.

The U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, which over­sees SNAP, puts the weekly cost of food for a young fam­ily of four at be­tween US$151 to US$247.

If Pal­trow, 42, was try­ing to prove the near-im­pos­si­bil­ity of living on food stamps alone, the point was missed by many crit­ics on so­cial me­dia.

“Looks like Pal­trow did some con­scious un­cou­pling from her food stamp week,” snick­ered one cynic on Twit­ter, riff­ing off the way she and Cold­play front­man Chris Martin la­beled their 2014 di­vorce.

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