You’d think the big news in the past week was that Hillary Clinton announced (officially) that she is running for president but that hardly made a ripple on social media. Instead there was a crack in the ozone when Gwyneth Paltrow announce via Twitter that she was taking the #FoodBankNYCChallenge promoted by her friend Mario Batali. The goal of the project is to bring awareness to the difficulty in living on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Gwyneth accepted the challenge and is living on the food she can purchase for $29 per week.

“This is what $29 gets you at the grocery store — and this is what families who rely on SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) have to live on for a week,” the actress wrote in the photo caption. “We’re going to walk in their shoes and see how far we get.”

While she has certainly got us talking about living on $29/day for food no one really is talking about making SNAP better or helping people so they don’t need these programs. What we’re talking about is Gwyneth (and not in a good way) and why she needs so many damn limes.

The lime to avocado ratio is backward and does anyone really like kale?

Like Gwyneth there isn’t an ounce of fat in that picture. I’m not sure how she plans on cooking any of this food but unless she has some kickass non-stick pots and pans she’s going to have a mess on her hands.

People who use SNAP can’t eat this way. Most of them are either single moms chasing after little kids or they have kids and also have to work usually labor intensive jobs. People who subsist on SNAP need more calories than someone who’s only real achievement is fitting into a size 0 dress for the Oscars and not passing out.

I suspect this is actually MORE food than Gwyneth eats all week.

I was on SNAP a few years ago. I think it worked out to about $33 per week for three people, one of whom was a teenager who inhaled anything that wasn’t nailed down. Being on SNAP was probably the most humiliating thing I have ever experienced. People would glare at you for using the distinctive card. If you purchased something that was not SNAP approved you’d have to remove it from your basket. If you went over the amount you had on the card you’d have to take something out of your basket. Nothing makes you feel confident and productive like having someone else tell you what you can and cannot buy for your dinner table.

I was only on SNAP for a few months and never told anyone until today because I was so ashamed. I still am.

I couldn’t waste the money on foods that would spoil so I’m not sure why Gwyneth would except possibly because she has no idea what it’s like to be poor.

When you’re on food stamps you can’t afford to have any of it spoil and sadly, the produce at the cheap grocery store doesn’t last as long as the stuff from Target or Whole Foods. At $29 per week you’re going to buy a lot Ramen and other pastas, rice and beans because it stores, fills you up and goes a long way. Of course it also makes you fat.

Eating this way makes you feel sluggish and lacking energy — something you need to go to that second job or take care of the kids without any help.

I’m all for Gwyneth trying to bring awareness to the difficulty poor people face. She and her wealthy friends could do more by sponsoring these families rather than making news because they are so out of touch with how people in the real world live.

I didn’t consciously uncouple from my ex husband. We had a nasty, drag down divorce that lasted two years, cost thousands in legal fees and forever changed the way I live. We didn’t have a lot to begin with but by getting divorced my kids and I had a whole lot less. I doubt Gwyneth experienced the monetary loss of a divorce and it certainly didn’t effect her career because she could handily afford care for her kids. Gwyneth Paltrow has no idea what it’s really like to be a single mom.

By the time someone is using food stamps they’ve fallen so far down the rabbit hole their chances of recovery are slim. Certainly not without some kind of grand intervention, something Ms Paltrow could do by sponsoring a family – privately, not through social media.

And that is the problem with the whole #FoodBankNYCChallenge that Gwyneth has taken on, it’s about her, not about the people who actually live on $29 worth of food each week.

If she wants to help solve this problem, and it is a problem worth solving, then she should hire people who use food stamps and pay them enough so they don’t need food stamps. If all of her friends did that we’d have a strong economy and the government would have a lovely surplus. Win-Win!!

** thoughts while writing this **

Why is her name so damn difficult to spell?

What would Gwyneth have done if she didn’t have famous parents to ride their coattails?

Does anyone like Gwyneth Paltrow? Not personally, I’m sure she has friends who are just as vapid as she with whom there is mutual adoration. I mean, does she have any fans?