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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miche... micheledo

There are several things wrong with this.  For one thing you don't NEED to purchase liquids.  Water is just fine for sustaining you and is our beverage of choice at our house.  Then shopping at Whole Foods - take your food stamps to a place where you can get more with them (that's what many of us do with our cash).  Also, if it is true that it is $28 per person, then don't pretend people have to feed an entire family on that amount.

I could easily feed my family BETTER then we eat now on food stamps.  I realize that every area is different when it comes to food prices, but it's frustrating to see people complain in my area when they have more money (food stamps) then I spend weekly on our groceries.

Reali... RealityCheckNow

I am so glad to see that other commenters noticed that this was only taking into consideration food stamps and not all the other kinds of assistance people qualify for.  I live in a multi income area and some of my neighbors are on food stamps, WIC, housing vouchers etc and they eat beautifully.  In fact, with WIC, the voucher entitles you to so much milk that they had to give it away or else the government would decrease their entire allotment.

Austin Keenan

The highest obesity rate(and even worse with their kids)   in households that get foodstamps.   Most of them aren't using foodstamps to stay alive or healthy.   They're using them so they can use their other money to buy something else.  

gem09... gem092011

P.S. - I'm far from a "selfish whiner" thank you very much. I just don't happen to think that a cradle to grave nanny-state is in ANYONE'S best interest.

Austin Keenan

One growing segment of people getting foodstamps are college kids!     Poor babies shouldn't have to do some menial job to work their way through school like many of us have for DECADES,   they're "entitled" to free food.    The gov was actually advertising these to them before uh oh the election is close.   

It wouldn't matter if it's $1,   somebody else WORKED for that money so it should only go to people who really need it.  

Stephanie Caldwell

I agree with the writer. I will happily pay taxes to help feed the hungry. Will people abuse it? Sure. But it's not fair to those who legitatemately need it for us to say because some abuse it we're cutting it all out. 

douxm... douxmusique

As far as the people I k.ow who are on food stamps, 1. If they have young children they're on wic and milk, eggs, etc is already free, 2. They spend more money on a family of four per month than I am able to afford on. Budget for a family of 5 per month. $28 a week per person is twice as much as I spend, and we are able to purchase healthy nutritious foods without using coupon.

douxm... douxmusique

Oh and #3- working in a grocery store and standing behind those people in line paying ebt I can observe that the things they purchase, pizza rolls, Doritos, sugar cereal, cake snacks,frozen entrees, are expensive for my budget and therefore are not purchased even if we wanted to add a treat in moderation.

bills... billsfan1104

I have said this before. My neighbor gets 899 a month for food stamps for a family of five, WIC for two children, rent, heat and electric paid for. She also gets a stipend of about 300 a month for other things. She gets a cell phone and medicaid also. What pisses me off about her is that she took a trip to Florida to get a Pitbull she found online. She paid 400 dollars for the dog. This is the norm in my neighborhood, not the exception.

Rhodin Rhodin

I techncially qualify for food stamps and WIC, but that's because they only count base pay and not BAH.  However, I feel we get enough from the government, so I've never bothered to apply.

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