Cory 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