Hollywood actress and food and lifestyle writer, Gwyneth Paltrow, has confessed her family failed in its attempt to survive on $29 worth of food for a whole week—the equivalent of what poor families in the U.S. get in food stamps.
The actress and her family, as well as Paltrow's colleagues at her website Goop.com, took part in the challenge as part of a campaign to raise awareness for the Food Bank For New York City, which provides free meals to the city's poorest.
Paltrow has confessed on Goop.com that four days into the challenge, she "personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice)."
She added that she would give herself a "C-" for her effort.
1.7 million New Yorkers depend on food stamps, which work out at $1.38 per meal, according to Food Bank For New York City. Furthermore, 1.4 million people across the five boroughs rely on soup kitchens, it said.
Paltrow uses Goop.com to publicise her lifestyle and eating habits, which are termed "healthy" or "faddish" depending on view point.
She met with a mixed response from the public and media after discussing the challenges of trying to eat "wholesome, nutritious food" on a $29 budget.
Some Twitter users praised her for destigmatising the use of food stamps and publicising the difficulties involved.
However, the actress was heavily criticized when the celebrity gossip website E! Online reported that she had celebrated finishing the challenge with a $80 gourmet meal at Animal restaurant in Los Angeles. She was also criticized on Twitter for her supposedly upmarket choice of food during the challenge, with purchases including kale, black beans and avocado.
Nonetheless, other celebrities are now joining the food bank campaign, including pop musicians Blondie and Sting.