Keke Palmer is getting major side eye from her fans.
The actress and singer generated a lot of backlash for recent comments she made about EBT food benefits and healthy eating.
“Imagine if your EBT card could only work on healthy items,” Palmer tweeted on Monday morning.
It didn’t take long for critics to accuse her of being out of touch and say the issue surrounding the availability of healthy food is more complex than her tweet indicated.
One user commented, “Where is the money for new fresh food stores, urban farms & Uber credits coming from?? I really think you’re outta touch because it’s deeper than just making all healthy foods free. There are people who don’t even get enough ebt to buy the basics.”
EBT cards, once known as food stamps, are supplemental benefits for the millions of Americans who are challenged with food insecurity. According to Hunger + Health a partner of Feeding America, food insecurity is “the lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.” Already a significant problem, the economic instability caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has just made it worse, something Palmer’s critics referenced.
A Twitter user commented that simply giving EBT holders free “healthy food,” doesn’t solve the larger issue.
Palmer may have believed that her tweet might improve health disparities that disproportionally impact African Americans. But if one in nine Americans are food insecure, according to Hunger and Health, and given the wealth of food deserts in poor communities, even if the “healthy” food becomes free for EBT users, many may still not have access to it.
But Palmer doubled down on her comments. She responded to some critics one by one and even took the initial tweet to Instagram to clarify her comments.
“I’m just here for the comments. GM ☀️
Added for context: I have been eating extremely healthy lately and I have been sad about my debit card balance because of it.
Healthy food is more expensive for a reason. It’s fresh, good for you and gives you energy. Bad foods are bad for a reason. They last long they taste good because of tons of sodium and they aren’t expensive because they’re honestly not food. Mostly likely they are food-LIKE products.
In any event imagine if you could get whatever healthy foods you wanted on your EBT card. Like all the healthy foods could swipe for free. Pretty much a reward for being healthy but even more so giving homes a break that want to eat healthy but can’t afford it!”
This is the second time recently that Palmer has found herself as a trending topic on social media. She made headlines after a post showing her kissing her boyfriend, Dutch rapper Styn, according to Madame Noire.
The backlash came after Palmer tweeted,
“I see a lot of people living one way but voted another.”
Critics called out her tweets as contradictory given that her boyfriend isn’t a man of color.
“Keke Palmer laid up with her Caucasian boyfriend tweeting about representation,” one Twitter user posted.
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