Gwyneth Paltrow took to twitter this past weekend to announce to her fans that she had accepted the #FoodBankNYCChallenge presented by chef Mario Batali. The challenge asks people to live on a food stamp budget of $29 for a week to raise hunger awareness and deepen an understanding of the struggle to afford food on that kind of  budget. Paltrow tweeted her acceptance of the challenge and then a picture of the food she purchased with her $29.

As someone who did receive food stamps for one year after suddenly becoming a single mother with a small baby, I can say that I am incredibly grateful for the program. I do believe that it can be a beneficial short term bridge for those who find themselves in a difficult financial situation. I know many people who feel welfare and those who utilize that program are “lazy individuals” who would rather take your “hard earned tax money then get a job and support themselves”.  However, I disagree with the mentality that this is the standard person who utilizes food stamps. Do people abuse this program? Certainly. But depending on the choices of the individual person, technology, money, influence and anything really can be used for good or not so good purposes.

Today's Trending Topic: Gwyneth Paltrow is taking the #FoodBankNYCChallenge to eat on just $29 a week like the families on food stamps. What do you think about this, and could you do it?

Posted by 94.9 WHOM on Monday, April 13, 2015

The question at hand however isn't whether these programs should exist, but whether they are truly beneficial to the individual receiving them. And in the case of the Food Bank Challenge in NYC, the question being asked is could you live on just $29 a week?