Newark Mayor Cory Booker to Begin Food Stamp Diet on Tuesday Dec 4th, living on avg $1.40 / meal for week

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Newark, New Jersey mayor Cory Booker will begin a week long diet this Tuesday that will consist of meals that will average $1.40 each, the amount the federal food stamps program (now known as SNAP) provides. This is being done in response to a challenge he made on twitter to a facebook follower in November.

Links to the diet a chef suggested for an earlier food stamp challenge on the SNAP budget, and the twiitter messages from the exchange where the mayor's challenge originated are in the first link.

Other mayors who have tried limiting their grocery money to food stamp levels include Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.

...

Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s Food Stamp Challenge

update from 11/30/12 -

Cory Booker to Begin Food Stamp Diet

***

other items on Booker's food stamp diet:

Cory Booker, Newark Mayor, Outlines Specifics Of Food Stamp Twitter Challenge

Mayor on food stamps: Will Cory Booker get 'Top Chef' Tom Colicchio on board?

miksilvr
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Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

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Cory Booker: The Second Coming of Obama - Only Worse

http://blackagendareport.com/content/cory-booker-second-coming-obama-onl...

norske's picture
norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

What the mayor will find is that the daily allowance for food ($1.40 per meal) will give him the choice of buying a lb. of fat-filled hamburger for the day or the ingredients for pancakes. If he wants seasoning for the hamburger...buy 1/2 lb. of the stuff for his daily food allowance and hit the spice rack.

He can make a tortilla to wrap it in for 3 cents.... after the initial capital outlay for flour and oil.

If he prefers, he can buy enough veggies to make a 3-meal salad...going easy on the tomatos and heavy on the lettuce. It takes a lot of expensive veggies to get the min. 2,000 calories diet.

Salads aren't a wise choice. Artery plugging fats are cheaper and within the budget. Veggies aren't. Medicaid can be called upon to deal with the damage if you are under 18, pregnant, or over 62. Pregnancy is a viable option to obtain needed medical care for conditions induced by poverty diets. A pregnant diebetic can enter the Medicaid Lottery and get a by-pass for her clogged arteries.

The mayor can read the Dept. of Agriculture's minimum diet recommendations, and wonder what went wrong. They are available at the Food Stamp office. The "Welfare Queen" eats like a scullery maid.

I'd suggest he try it for several months and turn a novelty experience into a real one.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

I'm not necessarily a fan of Cory Booker's politics, or under the impression that Booker is perfect (far from it, and neither is Obama, as I've stated elsewhere in the last month or so). My point for posting this topic was to show some people screaming about "food stamp president" or "welfare queens" and "president Santa Claus" how ridiculous their claims are in relation to what the miniscule allowance per meal is under SNAP.

As polycarp2 shows, the food you can afford on that budget is not very healthy, and may likely end up putting you on the rolls for Medicaid or some other federal medical assistance program.

Sure, there is some fraud in the system ... there are some people on SNAP that do not really qualify, or some people figuring out how to use the money provided by the program for unapproved purchases, or to just get cash in their hands. The "food stamp fraud" campaign is just another line of b.s., another canard like the "voter fraud" b.s. used by republicans to justify their voter suppression measures that have been plaguing the country. Republicans see the attacks on food stamps as a part of their "starve the beast" campaign, a way of reducing government spending to lessen the need for tax increases on their fat cat donors.

The number of dollars of waste and fraud in the defense budget and in "homeland security" related areas probably far out weighs the waste and fraud in the food stamp program. Problem is, the people on food stamps can not afford lobbyists and lawyers to represent them, to spin stories in their favor, as the defense industry does.

miksilvr
Joined:
Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

Rather than dealing with the absurdities and horrors involved with attempting to live on meals costing $1.40 each.... making a joke of the situation works well.....

"Fox News ran a segment about Cory Booker’s challenge with a Twitter follower to live on food stamps for a week. Though people on food stamps only receive about $133 for food per month, contributor Andrea Tantaros didn’t think it sounded so bad: ”I should try it because, do you know how fabulous I’d look? I’d be so skinny. I mean, the camera adds 10 pounds. I would be looking great.”

http://www.salon.com/2012/11/21/fox_news_tantaros_living_on_food_stamps_...

Some local reporters attempted to live off of food stamps for a week.... they lasted about as long as their attempts to live like the local homeless lasted... about 3 days...

norske's picture
norske
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Probably the mayor will cheat...and use his stock of spices to make his food stamp diet tolerable.

He may have to forgo sugar in his morning coffee and coffee in his sugar... and be satisfied with a freshly brewed cup of hot water

Of course, he could always use the sugar he has on hand and the coffee already in his pantry.

I'd like to see him stretch a food stamp budget into a month...as is done in the real world.,

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

For people who want to check on the mayor's food stamp diet experiment (and oh, this complicates things a little ... he is a vegetarian):

@Cory Booker on twitter

I wish i had thought about that when i set up this topic. My intention was to wait until the experiment was over to update this, forgetting that he might be doing his own updates on twitter. I just glanced through the tweets on the first page, and saw Booker was on Face the Nation today, and The Today Show and The Daily Show earlier in the week (maybe other appearances ... check the tweets, he might have included links.)

Early in the week I saw a segment on CNN where Carol Costello was talking about Booker's challenge. She was not very positive about it, and made comments along the lines of well, this has been done before, why do it again. She even had it as a question on the talk back segment, asking for comments on it. I thought of responding, but did not, having decided to wait until his challenge had ended.

If I had responded to her, I would have basically said this ... Booker is doing this challenge to bring attention to the problem because the problem still exists!. The meal allowance the program provides is not realistic. More needs to be done to help those on the problem cope with feeding themselves and their family.

Apparently I am not the only one that felt those comments by Costello (and also from Christine Romans, which I missed) were out of line. Julie Driscoll of The Examiner writes:

Cory Booker's efforts are admirable and designed to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of accepting food assistance. ...

Awareness, and walking in another's shoes, is never "a pointless exercise," Carol. And six million people, Christine, would beg to differ with your assessment of SNAP as a supplement to other ready food supplies

CNN's Romans and Costello take swipes at Cory Booker's "SNAP Challenge"

miksilvr
Joined:
Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm
Quote miksilvr:[...]Booker is doing this challenge to bring attention to the problem because the problem still exists!.[...]
Or, playing Devil's Pragmatist here, maybe it's to draw attention to himself since he said this morning that he will announce within the next two weeks if he's running against Christie or possibly for Congress.

Note, I am not saying some people don't need help to eat.

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mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm
Quote mjolnir:
Quote miksilvr:[...]Booker is doing this challenge to bring attention to the problem because the problem still exists!.[...]
Or, playing Devil's Pragmatist here, maybe it's to draw attention to himself since he said this morning that he will announce within the next two weeks if he's running against Christie or possibly for Congress.

Note, I am not saying some people don't need help to eat.

Wising up mjolnir! LOL!

delete jan in iowa
Joined:
Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm
Quote jan in iowa:
Quote mjolnir:
Quote miksilvr:[...]Booker is doing this challenge to bring attention to the problem because the problem still exists!.[...]
Or, playing Devil's Pragmatist here, maybe it's to draw attention to himself since he said this morning that he will announce within the next two weeks if he's running against Christie or possibly for Congress.

Note, I am not saying some people don't need help to eat.

Wising up mjolnir! LOL!

Just giving credence to "compassionate conservatism" Jan. I'm on record more than once in this forum attesting to the fact that I raise vegetables for the local food banks. I believe in helping anyone who tries to help themselves.

mjolnir's picture
mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm
Quote mjolnir:
Quote jan in iowa:
Quote mjolnir:
Quote miksilvr:[...]Booker is doing this challenge to bring attention to the problem because the problem still exists!.[...]
Or, playing Devil's Pragmatist here, maybe it's to draw attention to himself since he said this morning that he will announce within the next two weeks if he's running against Christie or possibly for Congress.

Note, I am not saying some people don't need help to eat.

Wising up mjolnir! LOL!

Just giving credence to "compassionate conservatism" Jan. I'm on record more than once in this forum attesting to the fact that I raise vegetables for the local food banks. I believe in helping anyone who tries to help themselves.

ATTA Boy!

delete jan in iowa
Joined:
Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm
Quote mjolnir:
Quote miksilvr:[...]Booker is doing this challenge to bring attention to the problem because the problem still exists!.[...]
Or, playing Devil's Pragmatist here, maybe it's to draw attention to himself since he said this morning that he will announce within the next two weeks if he's running against Christie or possibly for Congress.

Note, I am not saying some people don't need help to eat.

Funny you mention that, I just found this on twitter:


on , food stamps and challenging Chris Christie

Retweeted by View summary

miksilvr
Joined:
Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

Beans and rice, beans and rice, beans and rice. And when you’re tired of that, try rice and beans.

Seriously though, beans and rice will suffice until you are able to collect a few staples in the pantry which can be used to produce a variety of healthy low cost dishes. How about some homemade cornbread or tortillas to go with those beans and rice? Or try some meatless spaghetti with garlic biscuits, and some inexpensive greens, carrots, potatoes, or other low cost veggies. Canned tuna or salmon make for some delightful casseroles. Cheap ground beef and chicken provide endless possibilities for those not concerned about eating non-organic. Over ripe bananas are ridiculously cheap and make an inexpensive and healthy sweetener for breads, cakes, oatmeal, cereal, etc. With just a few staples, the culinary possibilities are endless. And if you trade some of your food stamps for a little weed, you can really get creative in the kitchen. Problem is, you’ll eat more.

Even a junk food junky with nothing more than a microwave oven has a plethora of inexpensive frozen dinners and packaged crap to choose from.

Two people should be able to maintain a healthy diet on $133.00 per month. It just takes some knowhow, and more importantly, some effort. It’s amazing how much money you can save when you’re broke. Some of the lessons learned, and the lifestyle adjustments made when a person goes through hard financial times are best remembered and implemented in prosperous times as well. Perhaps the food stamp benefits should be accompanied with a brochure containing shopping and cooking tips.

I’ve never been on food stamps, but I have eaten well on less than $133.00 per month. Nevertheless, I agree that the allotment for food stamps should be more. Especially when children are involved.

Excuse me now, while I go season the beans and put some rice on to cook.

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organican
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Nov. 30, 2012 4:24 am

Bean plus rice make a complete protein.... that's why it's such a good thing to have in your diet besides being so inexpensive.

We as human being must have complete proteins or we will suffer malnutrition.

Some have suggested eating soy for a protein source, sounds good, but it MUST BE from ORGANIC soy beans. GMO soy beans have been proven to carry pathogens that have major health implications and causes disease. The Chinese government is in the process of banning the importation of US GMO soy beans. Buy ORGANIC tofu as a protein source.

One of the reasons that providing food for one's family has become so expensive is because people no longer know how to cook and prepare food so they resort to more expensive "prepared" foods. Products such as pancake mixes, cake mixes, mac and cheese mixes, anything you add water to and put in the microwave....... these things can be easily and inexpensively prepared from scratch and they will be more nutritious and taste better.

We need to bring home economic classes back into middle and high school and offer cooking classes in local civic centers.

delete jan in iowa
Joined:
Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm
Quote jan in iowa:

Bean plus rice make a complete protein.... that's why it's such a good thing to have in your diet besides being so inexpensive.

We as human being must have complete proteins or we will suffer malnutrition.

Some have suggested eating soy for a protein source, sounds good, but it MUST BE from ORGANIC soy beans. GMO soy beans have been proven to carry pathogens that have major health implications and causes disease. The Chinese government is in the process of banning the importation of US GMO soy beans. Buy ORGANIC tofu as a protein source.

One of the reasons that providing food for one's family has become so expensive is because people no longer know how to cook and prepare food so they resort to more expensive "prepared" foods. Products such as pancake mixes, cake mixes, mac and cheese mixes, anything you add water to and put in the microwave....... these things can be easily and inexpensively prepared from scratch and they will be more nutritious and taste better.

We need to bring home economic classes back into middle and high school and offer cooking classes in local civic centers.

+1 Consider making your own tofu. It's not that hard to do.

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mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm
Quote mjolnir:

+1 Consider making your own tofu. It's not that hard to do.

If you can find organic soy beans.

delete jan in iowa
Joined:
Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm

Beans and rice, rice and beans are fairly inexpensive fillers with protein...and it takes a lot of both to get an adequate protein intake. Even a small amount of meat, soy, cheese or nuts greatly enhances the benefits of both.

I make a pretty good chili...and add rice to it. More meals from the same batch at less cost per meal.

My own diet costs about 1/2 of what is allowed on Food Stamps. My $10 in Food Stamps doesn't stretch very far.

That entails a lot of home-made protein-enriched breads, tortillas, etc. It can be done, and I've found many simply don't know how to eat cheaply and obtain maximum nutrition for the buck. There is a lot of obvious malnutrition in my area in an endeavor to maintain what's considered the standard American diet centered around meat. The food budget is gone before month's end.

Small amounts of soy flour added to soups/stews is a winner. A small veggie garden adds variety and flavorful herbs...cheaply. Many can easily be frozen or dried for winter. A few cherry tomato plants next to the door can produce in abundance. Sadly, gardening is a lost art among those who need it most.

An orange remains a luxury item. It depends on the size of the utility bill.

Retired Monk - "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
Joined:
Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm
Quote polycarp2:[...]Even a small amount of meat, soy, cheese or nuts greatly enhances the benefits of both.[...]
Complementary proteins, mentioned by Jan above, is a concept seldom taught today in our glutonous society.

Quote polycarp2:[...]Sadly, gardening is a lost art among those who need it most.[...]
So true. It is of course not possible for everyone but many poor familys could augment both nutrition and variety with small scale gardening techniques. In many States, if the immediate need can be put off, you can use SNAP benefits to buy seeds and gardening supplies.

mjolnir's picture
mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm

Nice post mjolnir..... and very good advice.

Aren't urban communities turning to community gardening? Such a great idea!

My husband has a friend who is working with community gardening in Chicago, his friend is from New Mexico and the folks in Chicago are growing great New Mexico (Hatch) chilies, what a surprise that they can grow at this latitude.

delete jan in iowa
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Feb. 6, 2011 12:16 pm
Quote jan in iowa:

Nice post mjolnir..... and very good advice.

Aren't urban communities turning to community gardening? Such a great idea!

My husband has a friend who is working with community gardening in Chicago, his friend is from New Mexico and the folks in Chicago are growing great New Mexico (Hatch) chilies, what a surprise that they can grow at this latitude.

Yes they are. Growing food, sucking up co2, emitting o2, and fewer "heat sinks". Everybody wins.

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mjolnir
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Mar. 3, 2011 12:42 pm

12/11/12 -

When politicians pretend to be poor, are they helping?

miksilvr
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Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

Not to mimimize the problems many are having as we recover from the Bush Depression, but were Food Stamps meant to supplement one's food budget or BE one's food budget? I've seen kids come into stores after school and use their cards to buy snacks and soda. I think these cards should be good only for staples. The taxpayers would get more bang for their buck... or at least our creditors would.

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Pierpont
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Feb. 29, 2012 2:19 pm
Quote Pierpont:

Not to mimimize the problems many are having as we recover from the Bush Depression, but were Food Stamps meant to supplement one's food budget or BE one's food budget? I've seen kids come into stores after school and use their cards to buy snacks and soda. I think these cards should be good only for staples. The taxpayers would get more bang for their buck... or at least our creditors would.

The food stamps program known currently as SNAP was meant to be a supplement, but for many families it is the only means of putting food on the table other than any available support from "soup kitchens" or food pantrys. There are some families where the kids appear to have the flexibility to by what some consider "junk food", as you observed. Conservatives try to justify those unusual cases as reason to drop the whole program or cut back on the allowance. The mere fact that the card can be used to purchase such items stems from political pressure applied to Washington by lobbyists hired by those industries to keep their product lines eligible.

Forward thinking people have in the last few years come up with methods that allow the SNAP cards to be used at farmers markets to purchase healthy food products. If the merchant does not have the means to process the SNAP card directly, the market master has a table set up for the card holder to purchase tokens that are then used to buy items in the market. The merchants are given notice what the "tokens" can be used to buy. That type of program is helpful in closing the gaps in availability caused by food deserts in the inner cities where grocery stores and other sources of healthy food are not found.

miksilvr
Joined:
Jul. 7, 2011 12:13 pm

Well, food stamps are still meant to be a supplement. After deducting rent, utilities, etc. from a person's income, if there isn't enough remaining income for $1.40 per meal, food stamps make up the difference.

My own food stamp supplement is $10 per month.

In practice what happens is, the $10 allows me to direct an additional $10 in cash to pay for car insurance. The rest is paid for by directing some of my $1.40 per meal money from my pension to the insurance co.

If public transit were available, I'd ditch the car and have $1.40 to spend per meal ($4.20 a day) instead of spending around $2 a day for three meals. However, the supermarket doesn't deliver and the Dr. doesn't make house calls so a car is essential. I guess it's assumed that soap and laundromats, etc. are free.

Most food stamp recipients have similar shortfalls. What appears on paper isn't necessarily so in practice. If the politician would allow himself about 75 to 80 cents per meal, he'd have a more realistic experience.

My breakfast averages out to about 20 cents. Lunch 40 cents. The rest is spent on dinner. The average is $2.00- $2.25 per day total. Two years ago it was less. Food prices were lower.

Retired Monk "Ideology is a disease"

polycarp2
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

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