Newark, NJ — Mayor Cory Booker has agreed to live off of food stamps for a week after an exchange with a “Daughter of the American Revolution” on Twitter.
While Booker’s office didn’t confirm the plans, the mayor tweeted his plans to go forward with the challenge Monday afternoon.
On Sunday, Booker tweeted a quote from Plutarch: “An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.” One user asked if that meant he was planning to redistribute wealth, and another user, named Twitwit, wrote that “nutrition is not a responsibility of the government.” Booker replied, “We have a shared responsibility that kids go to school nutritionally ready 2 learn.”
Booker then told Twitwit, “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 agreed, and Booker said the two would need a referee and asked her to send him a direct message with her phone number so that they could work out the details.
Booker added, “Lets film it and see how we do.”
Twitwit continued tweeting the mayor and other users about the challenge Tuesday, saying that she would “use the alloted amount in the same way the average receiver does.” She said Monday that she had not yet heard from the mayor.
The University of Bridgeport in Connecticut already has a food stamp challenge in place for early December, and offered to referee the challenge between Booker and Twitwit and provide rules.
The University of Bridgeport’s “SNAP Food Challenge” will take place from December 2 to December 9. The rules for that challenge mandate that only $35 be spent per person for the week, and that all food purchased and eaten be included in that total spending. In Connecticut, the maximum SNAP benefit is $200 a month for single person household, $367 a month for a two-person household.
Benefits vary state by state.
What do you think of Cory Booker’s food stamp challenge?