Update: Gwyneth Paltrow Failed The $29 Food Stamp Challenge

Alas, not even someone who's mastered the art of living can make a $29 meal plan work. Paltrow has admitted to caving four days into the challenge and buying herself fresh veggies, half a bag of licorice, and some chicken. (Turns out, our concern about the low protein in her initial purchase was not uncalled for.) Unsurprisingly, people on Twitter are having a field day over this, with some calling her decision a "conscious uncoupling" from food stamps. But, since the campaign was meant to expose how impossible it is to sustain oneself on such a tight budget, we'd say Gwyneth accomplished that mission — and should give her self slightly more credit than the C- in her blog post.
Gwyneth Paltrow gets plenty of flack for being somewhat out of touch with the real world. The criticisms aren't entirely unfounded — the $4,700 gold juicers and $12,000 vases on her lifestyle site, goop, aren't exactly affordable, after all. But, Paltrow's recent announcement might make some headway toward silencing the haters: The actress is taking the #FoodBankNYCChallenge to eat on a budget of just $29 for an entire week. The lifestyle guru was tapped by chef Mario Batali to take on the challenge, which is working to help end hunger among New Yorkers by raising awareness about Congress' continued efforts to cut funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps). As it stands, each family of three on the program is provided with a weekly food allowance of $29 per person (which breaks down to just $1.38 per meal for each). Batali has also nominated other famous friends to participate, including Sting and Debbie Harry. Judging from Paltrow's tweet, it seems like $29 can actually get you some pretty decent dining options — if you can subsist on little to no protein, and very small portions. Unsurprisingly, some commenters are already throwing shade at Gwyneth for being "unrealistic" with her purchases, and calling her "privileged" for even partaking in the challenge. But, bottom line: We think it's admirable of her to try to make a difference by bringing attention to a serious social issue. Keep doing you, G.P.

More from Food & Drinks

R29 Original Series