As it turns out, not even a large amount of limes and tortillas could sustain Gwyneth Paltrow for a week. The actress admits although it was a valiant effort, she failed the SNAP food stamp challenge, lasting only four out of the seven required days on a $29 food budget.
“I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice),” Paltrow writes on her website goop. “My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days — a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year.”
Paltrow vowed on April 9 to purchase groceries and live off of $29 for a week in the challenge, which was initiated by Paltrow’s friend, chef Mario Batali, to raise awareness and money for the NYC Food Bank. The $29 a week is the amount allotted to families on the SNAP (formerly food stamps) program.
“After trying to complete this challenge (I would give myself a C-), I am even more outraged that there is still not equal pay in the workplace,” Paltrow says. “Sorry to go on a tangent, but many hardworking mothers are being asked to do the impossible: Feed their families on a budget which can only support food businesses that provide low-quality food.”
Upon starting the challenge, Paltrow posted a picture of her food purchases which consisted of tortillas, eggs, beans, lettuce, rice and normally pricy purchases like avocado and limes. The actress points out in her blog avocados and limes are cheaper in California, so the budget allowed for it.
Although she didn’t make it all the way, in addition to raising awareness for the cause, Paltrow and her family created some delicious, economically friendly recipes with the purchases.
The recipes, which are detailed on goop, include black bean taquitos, black bean cakes with grilled corn salsa and brown rice, and kale and roasted sweet potato saute with poached eggs.