Gwyneth Paltrow: 'We Are All ... Incredibly Fortunate'

Gwyneth Paltrow: 'We Are All ... Incredibly Fortunate'
Gwyneth Paltrow
Dennis Van Tine/Landov

04/08/2008 AT 09:40 AM EDT

Monday night was a family affair for Gwyneth Paltrow, who brought along her mom, Blythe Danner, and her brother, Jake Paltrow, as she was being honored at the Food Bank for New York City's fifth-annual Can-Do Awards.

"It's very nice to receive this honor," the Oscar-winner told PEOPLE on the red carpet. "I grew up in the city and I worked in soup kitchens, one on 3rd Avenue, when I was in high school. It's a full circle to be back here."

The 35-year-old actress (who, through her rep, declined to discuss her reported attendance at Beyoncé and Jay-Z's nuptials on Friday) said she'd been particularly moved by a recent visit to one of the places supplied by the food bank.

"I thought to myself, the next time I complain I'm going to slap myself across the face," she said. "We are all just so incredibly fortunate and there are so many people in this amazing city who can't eat. That's shocking. We should all be doing more."

That's also a lesson the Shakespeare in Love star tries to teach Apple, 3, and Moses, 2, her children with husband Chris Martin.

"I always try to instill that they are very lucky and that most children don't get the things that they get," she said. "Hopefully it will stick with them."

Later, organizers auctioned off the chance to spend an evening with Paltrow, The winning bid: A cool $17,000.

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