Gwyneth Paltrow

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow recently claimed on Twitter that “families on SNAP (i.e. food stamps) have” only $29 “to live on for a week.” She said she’d live on that amount for a week to draw attention to the struggles of America’s poor.

One glaring problem with Paltrow’s cause is that her figures are a complete fabrication (as I pointed out on Twitter). According to the USDA, which runs SNAP (the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps), the “maximum monthly allotment” for a family of four is $649—more than five times what Paltrow claims. The maximum amount a single person can get in a month is $194.

Paltrow makes two factual errors. Apparently she picked up the $29 figure from the Food Bank for New York City, which Paltrow mentions on Twitter. But that figure pertains to an individual, not a family.

Paltrow also confuses the average SNAP contribution with what a person or a family “has to live on.” . . .

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