Actress Gwyneth Paltrow once said “I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be someone who makes $25,000 a year,” but she’s doing just that this coming week. Paltrow and other celebrities have taken the #FoodBankNYCChallenge and will be living on a $29 food budget for one week. This, according to the Food Bank for New York City, is equal to about $1.38 per meal, or what a person living on SNAP would have for a food budget.
While it’s certainly admirable that Paltrow is taking on the challenge (especially with her own diet being so exorbitantly expensive), the math involved is a little fuzzy.
According to the USDA, the maximum SNAP (“food stamp”) benefit available for a household of one is $194 per month. This, assuming three meals a day for 30 days, is equal to $2.16 per meal, or a $45.30 budget per week–about 50 percent higher than the #FoodBankNYCChallenge suggests for their challenge.