New York Daily News: Newark Mayor Cory Booker goes food shopping ahead of food stamp challenge highlighting difficulty faced by poor

December 3rd, 2012

Newark Mayor Cory Booker goes food shopping ahead of food stamp challenge highlighting difficulty faced by poor

By Nancy Dillon / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Monday, December 3, 2012, 4:47 PM

After reading the vegetarian official’s receipt on Twitter, one user suggested he will be hungry after vowing to live off $30 a week in food for a month. Booker debated a North Carolina mom last month on Twitter about how hard it is to live off food stamps

 

 Newark Mayor Cory Booker greets Blonbzell Taylor outside of Clinton Hill Community Resource Center, where residents hurt by Superstorm Sandy received clothing donations in Newark. Booker vowed to live on food stamps for a month after a Twitter debate last month with a North Carolina mom over welfare benefits.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker greets Blonbzell Taylor outside of Clinton Hill Community Resource Center, where residents hurt by Superstorm Sandy received clothing donations in Newark. Booker vowed to live on food stamps for a month after a Twitter debate last month with a North Carolina mom over welfare benefits.

 

Cory Booker is counting his beans as he bellies up to his food stamp challenge starting Tuesday.

The vegetarian mayor of Newark promised to live off $30 worth of food for the week to draw attention to the difficulty of living off the meager allowance.

He posted his crumpled Pathmark receipt on his Twitter feed Monday. The $29.78 haul included Red Delicious apples, yams, broccoli florets, corn, chickpeas and lots of black and pink beans.

“I read your receipt, and I think you are going to be hungry,” one follower said in a Twitter message Monday.

“U may be right,” the mayor responded, promising another follower he’ll drink lots of water.

Already famous for rescuing a neighbor from a raging kitchen fire in April and inviting Hurricane Sandy victims to his home, Booker agreed to the challenge last month after a Twitter debate with a North Carolina married mother of two over welfare benefits.

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Cory Booker Twitter

Newark Mayor Cory Booker posted this receipt documenting his food purchase as his food stamp challenge looms. Booker, who bought Red Delicious apples and yams, will live off $30 in food per week for a month to illuminate the difficulty poor families face.

“This will not be a gimmick or a stunt,” Booker vowed to reporters.

The average monthly food stamp benefit was $133.26 per person in New Jersey last year, or about $31 per week, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Booker isn’t the first public official to starve for attention this way.

New Jersey’s Human Services Commissioner Jennifer Velez took the same challenge last December. In 2008, former Queens City Councilman Eric Gioia spent a week living on $28.

“I’m hungry,” Velez blogged on the fourth day of her challenge. “The stomach grumblings help keep me focused on the purpose.”