What does Gwyneth Paltrow have to do with food stamps?

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The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is the United States government’s program for helping low income individuals and families. According to Food Bank for New York City, the government has cut funding for the program twice over the past couple of years.

In order to raise awareness of the need for SNAP funding, formerly known as food stamps, people have taken on the #FoodBankNYCChallenge, including celebrity Gwyneth Paltrow. They’ve elected to spend only $29 a week for groceries, which is allegedly the average amount allotted to individuals and families on food stamps.

Paltrow tweeted a photo April 9 that showed an array of food ranging from black beans to limes, costing a total of $29. TIME described her attempt at understanding what its like to live on foods stamps a “horrible” idea and called her actions “poverty tourism” because people don’t choose to rely on SNAP benefits to eat, but instead rely on them. The TIME author says Paltrow is unintentionally mocking those who can’t afford to pay for all of their groceries on their own, and should choose another way to raise awareness.


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