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?
December 4, 2012 at 1:20 PMThat information is old. It has gone up about 8 since 09 and it is per each person in the house hold not the house hold in its entierty. But it is awesome i was done. Sad it did not help prove his pojnt.
December 4, 2012 at 7:03 PM
It is probably $28 for one person a week. And it also depends on income. My family receives food stamps, but we do have an income. For a family of 3, we don't even get $28 a week. It averages out lower than that.
by aygonzalesDecember 5, 2012 at 11:41 AM
I know a woman who claimed herself and 2 kids claimed dad wasnt there and was getting over $520 per month for them 3
by Aivlys_December 5, 2012 at 11:45 AMUmm no! It varies depending in the state one lives In and $ 28 isn't much for Whole foods! This is not accurate!
by Anonymous 1December 5, 2012 at 12:18 PM
This is not accurate at all. What a dumb post.
His point is null and void. THE REAL POINT behind food stamps is to get people what they need to survive and not to give people what they enjoy. At one point in my life I was only making $8.50 an hour. At that same time I had my own mortgage, car payment, utility bill. I was really good at managing my money. For groceries I would normally buy a giant bag of rice, some frozen protein ( like plain chicken), frozen veggies. I would take my lunch to work that normally consisted of a pb&j and some grapes. I would drink tap water. ( I could buy all of that for less than $28 dollars a week ) It wasn't the most enjoyable time of my life, but I thought of food as a source of energy and for survival. I didn't think of it as a fun and enjoyable thing. Not to mention, you become really aware of what you actually need to injest to have energy and to feel healthy. I actually felt healthier at the point in my life than I have ever felt before. Simply because I wasn't eating bad, I ate simple and cheap. . . I support giving people assistance - I do not support people bitching about it.
by Anonymous 2December 5, 2012 at 1:55 PM
We get food stamps and it comes out to be $33 a week per person a month and that has to cover the special foods my DD needs because of her food allergies
Yes food stamps truly don't provide for a lot of food. Food stamps usually mean trying to pick up the cheapest forms of calories - fatty foods, starchy foods - pretty thin on the protein, vitamins and minerals.
And I also feel that while there are going to be people who find some way to take advantage of ANYTHING, that most of the people getting food stamps, both deserve them and need them.
And yes, actually, I'm proud that my tax dollars help others. I can't think of any better reason for paying taxes.
There are only two of us and we mostly eat vegetarian and we make a lot of our own items rather than buy the items made up(biscuits, oatmeal, bread, etc). I think we would have a very hard time eating nutritionally, let alone eating well, on food stamps at 28 dollars a week. I think we might be able to keep our bellies full for fifty dollars a week, but it would be very plain stuff - biscuits, bread, things like that.
And I know one thing for darn sure - take out food is expensive. Even now that we are financially secure, we do NOT eat out often and we do NOT get take out food often.
I think in weeks when we get anything we want, we spend about four times that(though we buy large quantities and store them, so it isn't like we USE all of what we buy in one week.
As older adults we don't need the protein that small growing children need(and protein is expensive), but we'd still have a tough time doing it on 28 dollars a week.
When I was much younger, we were poor. Very poor. We ate a lot of ramen noodles, bread, rice, beans, potato chips, cheap things like that.
Part of the time when I was poor, I lived in a housing cooperative. This consisted of a dozen or so apartment buildings, and we cooked (in groups of about 25) and the whole cooperative, everyone, bought food as one purchaser, which saved a LOT of money. We actually ate rather well during that time. Most of our protein was from eggs, dairy, peanut butter (BEFORE the price went up!!) and soy products - some of the coop units were vegetarian and some were not - vegetarian was the less costly option, but required more thought and planning. We bought flour in hundred pound bags or larger, baking powder in five pound cans, big cans of everything else - there were no 'Sam's Club's then - we bought directly from suppliers like Gordon. Per serving, it was much, much cheaper.
People who could pay, paid, and people who could not, worked - rebagging the supplies in smaller family size amounts, calling people when their order came in, cleaning the food storage area, things like that.
I really wish many poor people would consider purchasing food as part of a group - it really saved the housing coop an incredible amount of money.
There are other ways one can help oneself - if a person can afford a stove, kitchen utensils, water, cleaning supplies and pots and pans, electricity or gas, and one can buy bulk staples(need more cash to buy, but it lasts longer), AND has a rat proof and mouse proof place to store the staples, can make a lot of things themselves. Yes it actually is kind of expensive to get set up so that you can 'eat cheap'.
Some churches or soup kitchens offer low income people a chance to get a meal or two free each week, and there are sales, discounts food banks, and food coops. But it just is plain old difficult.
We had a guy over for thanksgiving once- he was completely disabled, and lived on food stamps and SSI.
When we were getting the dinner ready, he came hesitantly into the kitchen, and whispered, 'do you think....do ah....would you mind if I had a peanut butter sandwich?'
I said, sure, and made him a nice thick pb and j.
'Thanks', he said, 'I can't usually afford peanut butter'.
Yes, he also liked the turkey, mashed potatoes, peas, gravy, stuffing, squash, green bean casserole, fresh rolls, pumpkin pie and whipped cream. But that struck me - something I would think of as a cheap food, he could not afford.
by Anonymous 3December 5, 2012 at 3:57 PMI just averaged it up. $28 and some off cents for my family of 6 a week.
by Anonymous 4December 5, 2012 at 4:24 PM
$526/mo for family of 3 with no income=$43.83/wk per person.
Not accurate, but still a ridiculous amount.