Gwyneth Paltrow’s decision to try to live on the $29 a week an average food stamp recipient gets lasted slightly less than four days. The gesture was considered by many to be a publicity stunt, especially when she posted a picture of what she bought on Twitter:
Paltrow was planning to show poor people how you can eat healthy on just $29 a week, but after four days she found herself seeking out “some fresh broccoli and chicken.”
While she may have had the makings for a nice burrito, complete with salsa, she failed miserably at what the working poor struggle with here in the real world.
Which of those items was she planning on packing for her lunch at her minimum wage job? A hard-boiled egg a day for breakfast might be all the protein a film actress who weighs 102 pounds with rocks in her pockets may need, but could you stand on your feet all day and perform your job on it? With the entire dozen it’s possible to eat one egg for lunch, maybe wrapped in a leaf of romaine and served with 1/5th of an ear of corn.
And just what is the deal with the limes?
Paltrow now understands that even a Hollywood waif needs to eat, and no matter how thrifty she thought she was being, you absolutely can not eat real food for $29 a week.
SNAP recipients are most often reduced to Ramen Noodles and Dollar Store entrees. Especially if they want such luxuries as milk, or God forbid, a piece of meat. If you buy one of those tubes of ground beef at the beginning of the month, costing you about 1/5th of your benefit, you may have enough to eat Hamburger Helper once a week. If you don’t mind the risk of E. coli that is.
The truth is, unless you are forced to live this way, you don’t understand. You can’t understand. If you have lived this “freeloader’s dream” of what conservatives think is free steak and lobster, you know the dirty looks you get when you use an EBT card. You know what it’s like to have to tell your children “no” when they ask for a treat.
You also know that the majority of SNAP recipients use the program because they fell on hard times, or in my case because Dubyah crashed the economy. You paid taxes all your life, and when you needed help it was there, even if it wasn’t enough.
You’re absolutely enraged when conservatives call people on SNAP lazy, and you’re absolutely enraged at that picture of Paltrow’s purchases, no matter how good-hearted her intentions.