Newark Mayor Cory Booker Challenges Twitter Army Wife to Live on Food Stamps for a Week

Politics at Play 21

cory bookerNewark, New Jersey's Mayor Cory Booker has no problem getting up close and personal with his constituents. He has actually gotten quite the reputation for being uber-friendly with residents over Twitter. 'Course, being that he's a politician, his convos with the people occasionally get heated, and a recent one with @MWadeNC -- a user who identifies herself as a “Daughter of the American Revolution (DAR), fighting against any and all forms of socialism/communism.. Army Veteran, Army Daughter, Army Wife" -- was no exception.

It all began when the mayor tweeted a quote from Plutarch, "An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics" and "We pay 4 HUGE back end govt programs: prisons, police, etc. If we invested in Schools, nutrition, etc we’d save $ & create wealth." MWadeNC's response? "Nutrition is not a responsibility of the government."

That lead to some full-throttle debate, and eventually, the mayor proposed:

Lets you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month. U game?

MWadeNC confirmed she was in! So, right after Thanksgiving, the two will go head to head in the food stamp challenge, which the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut -- already running a similar challenge with students and staff -- will take on refereeing duties.

No matter the outcome of the challenge, you gotta love a politician whose actions actually reflect his beliefs! By attempting to live on $30 for an entire week -- the maximum benefit New Jersey’s food stamp program offers -- "there’s no way you could eat nutritious food,” as Rucha Gadre, director of Food Bank Services at Mercer Street Friends, put it. And poor nutrition leads to hunger -- in extreme cases, starvation -- and health issues, which can in turn wreak havoc on crime and the economy.

Here's hoping Mayor Booker's extremely valid, important, timely point is one that's not just well-taken, but well-illustrated when he and MWadeNC put their money where their mouths are -- literally!

Do you believe government should invest in nutrition? How do you feel about Mayor Booker taking on the food stamp challenge?

 

Image via TechCrunch/Flickr

health care, politics, eating healthy