Newark, NJ, Mayor Cory Booker and a Twitter follower will be living on food stamps for a week following a Twitter discussion about the role of government in funding school breakfast and lunch programs. Follower TwitWit asserted that “nutrition is not the responsibility of the government.” Booker disagreed.
TwitWit: why is there a family that is “too poor to afford breakfast”? are they not already receiving food stamps?
Booker: Lets you and I try to live on food stamps in New Jersey (high cost of living) and feed a family for a week or month. U game?
TwitWit: sure, Mayor, I’m game.
Negotiations about challenge rules are ongoing–TwitWit feels it should be for a month, not a week–but the University of Bridgeport has offered to referee the challenge using the rules laid out for their own food stamp challenge, due to start the first week in December: $35 per person per week, no free food, and no food you already own; take photos of all food purchased and save all receipts. Followers of Booker have suggested additional rules requiring, for instance, that all food purchases must be accessible via public transportation, or that it must be cookable using a microwave or electric grill.
Twitter response to Booker’s challenge have been mixed, particularly from followers who are on or have been on food stamps. Many appreciate the gesture, while others see a well-off man living cheaply–even unreasonably cheaply–for a week as a stunt. Booker’s plan has a big fan in Fox News’s Andrea Tantaros, though, who said on Fox Business Wednesday night that a $133 monthly food allowance would be slimming for the wallet and the waistline.
I should try it, because do you know how fabulous I’d look? I’d be so skinny. I mean, the camera adds ten pounds, it really does. I would be looking great.