Inspired by her celebrity chef bestie Mario Batali to take on the #FoodBankNYCChallenge
, the actress vowed to live off the weekly food stamp budget of $29 -- the amount 1.7 million people rely on from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistant Program. That's just $1.38 per meal for a week.
However, Gwyneth only made it just four days.
The 42-year-old Iron Man
actress blogged about the short-lived experience on GOOP
"As I suspected, we only made it through about four days, when I personally broke and had some chicken and fresh vegetables (and in full transparency, half a bag of black licorice)," she wrote.
Initially, she started the challenge on April 9, showing off the minimal groceries she was able to purchase for $29. In the end, she graded herself a less than stellar C-, but she did gain a whole new perspective.
"My perspective has been forever altered by how difficult it was to eat wholesome, nutritious food on that budget, even for just a few days—a challenge that 47 million Americans face every day, week, and year," she blogged. "A few takeaways from the week were that vegetarian staples liked dried beans and rice go a long way—and we were able to come up with a few recipes on a super tight budget."
For the challenge, she managed to make a few dishes
that looked delicious on any budget -- black bean taquitos, black bean cakes with grilled corn salsa and brown rice, kale and roasted sweet potato saute with poached eggs.
The whole experience also caused Gwyneth to get "outraged that there is still not equal pay in the workplace." She continued, "Sorry to go on a tangent, but many hardworking mothers are being asked to do the impossible: Feed their families on a budget which can only support food businesses that provide low-quality food. The food system in our beautiful country needs to be subjected to a heavy revision—it is a cyclical problem, with repercussions that we all feel."
It also made her see how "hunger indirectly touches us all." She ended her blog saying, "After this week, I am even more grateful that I am able to provide high-quality food for my kids. Let's all do what we can to make this a basic human right and not a privilege."