Newark Mayor Cory Booker's $30 Food Stamp Budget Makes Haters Look Like Selfish Whiners

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Cory Booker food stampsCory Booker is the mayor of Newark, New Jersey and one of the most popular politicians in the country. Now, he is living on food stamps. But relax, you people who love to hate on food stamps and who claim those who use them "take advantage" and live high on the hog. This challenge is part of proving just how little food stamps really buy.

The whole thing started when Booker got into it on Twitter over the necessity of social programs like food stamps. Booker said: "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."

He then received this tweet from an army wife in North Carolina: "Nutrition is not a responsibility of the government." It was on. Booker challenged them both to feed a family of four for a week on only food stamps.

It's kind of an amazing thing for a mayor to do, most especially because living on a "food stamp budget" is not exactly luxurious. From December 3 until December 12, Booker is living on $29.78 per week, which is actually MORE than the $28 per week people on food stamps receive. Oh yes, that's what all these jerks are whining about. Twenty-EIGHT dollars a week. I am sorry, but seriously?

I also have a family of four, and granted, we eat very healthy and shop at Whole Foods, which tends to cost a bit more. But our weekly grocery bill hovers somewhere close to $250 a week, if not more. And that is on a week where we get take-out at least once as well. In our family and in our city, $28 might buy a carton of milk, some eggs, and a few apples and forget it if you have any dietary restrictions.

Booker shared his first food stamp receipt, which included beans, whole corn, and a red delicious apple (Booker is a vegetarian), but the reality is that he is going to be hungry. As one Twitter follower told him: "Dont let yourself get dehydrated! Drink lots of water, you have no fluids on here."

I am sorry, but WTF is wrong with people? This is what they have been whining and bitching about when it comes to benefits?

"There’s no way you could eat nutritious food," said Rucha Gadre, director of Food Bank Services at Mercer Street Friends, put it. Poor nutrition taxes our health care system and may even lead to more crime and harm the economy even more. All this over $30 a week? Really?

I have to admit, I never looked into food stamps all that deeply. I believe hungry people should be fed and that's that, so what the amount was never really concerned me. But $28 is paltry. It's nothing to feed a whole family. Sure, one could assume most people are supplementing that with a little more money from their jobs (they would have to be!), but eating healthy foods on that little money isn't really an option.

As a heavy taxpayer who is also concerned about the fiscal cliff negotiations, I still say that cutting social programs is just not an option. I am sorry. But it isn't. I would rather figure out a way to cut $28 a week out of my OWN grocery bill than take food stamps away from someone who needs them far more than I. Anyone who feels differently ought to open their heart a little and stop whining. In a country as rich as ours, NO ONE should be hungry.

Good for Booker for shining a light on just how little money food stamps really gives.

Did you know food stamps only covered $28 a week?


Image via Inha Leex Hale/Flickr


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Karma Grant

He's starting out with a stocked kitchen and knows at the end of the week he goes back to being rich. This is a stunt, nothing more nothing less. It helps no one and only makes him look stupid.

Also, the amount depends on the state AND family size. $28 is a very unrealistic amount.

bills... billsfan1104

From what I understand, Its 28 dollars per person. And food stamps are suppose to supplement not pay for all the groceries.

B1Bomber B1Bomber

I think few people have a problem with people who really need them using food stamps. They have a problem with seeing people use food stamps to buy groceries and watching them chat on iPhones and drive away in shiny new cars. I saw a blog with a woman complaining that her entertainment bill (cell, internet, and phone) was $700, and they had cut her food stamps to $59, and what was she supposed to do?

amazz... amazzonia

he went to whole foods! I don't live on food stamps and I can't afford whole foods, do the experiment going to aldi or something like that

Katy Khan

I agree billsfan. It should help with the basics, not pay for a lobster dinner.

nonmember avatar Shannon

Hey folks, go to the food bank! I give very generously to that organization which requires people who "shop" there (if physically capable) to donate some time working there. They get to keep their dignity and don't have to feel like they are taking a handout.

nonmember avatar anon

I'm not proud of this...but I have food stamps. I get 367 a month and it"s me and my son im the home and that is absolutely PLENTY. In fact I generally have extra at the end of the month. If you run out before the month is out you're probably buying some stupid expensive things.

nikki... nikkivolkov

Foodstamps are per person $28 which means a family of four gets $112 per week or $450 per month. When you add in wic benefits for toddlers that cover things like milk cheese peanut butter and formula it makes it pretty easy to live off of. I personally use coupons and our grocery bill including shampoo toothpaste and other non food items never exceeds $100 per week for a family of three. I am not on foodstamps, but we do eat healthy and I could easily live off this kind of allotment. Frozen veggies are cheap and if you have half a talent for cooking you can make healthy meals that don't taste bad and won't break your budget.

gem09... gem092011

It's obvious that the writer does her "research" on Twitter. Good Lord. If you are attempting to make a "social justice" point, at least try to get your facts straight.

Each state is different, but a quick search will show you that in IL, for example, a family of 4 with no assets and $500 in rent/dependent expenses will receive approximately $668 in SNAP (food stamp) benefits alone per month. That's about $167 per week. It also does NOT include additional assistance programs like WIC, Housing Assistance (Section 8 or Rent Vouchers), school breakfast and lunch programs, Medicaid, etc., etc., etc. There is currently no cap on the number of programs or the total benefits a person can receive.

gem09... gem092011


Big picture --- for just the first 3 years of President Obama’s presidency, the number of people on food stamps has increased 16.5 million -- going from 28.2 million to 44.7 million -- an increase of 59 percent in just a 3-year period. The federal government currently spends $71,800,000,000 a year on SNAP alone. 

If you want to have a real debate, these are the numbers to talk about, not $28 per week. We are also talking about the VAST increase in food stamp recipients over the last 3 years and what this means in terms of the direction of the economy and the country's mindset as a whole. 

Your broadbased statement that "cutting social programs is just not an option" is absurd. Although apparently you fit right in with the ridiculous democrats on capital hill who are refusing to compromise and who believe that we can continue to spend, spend, spend into eternity. 

Wake up, people!!

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