Mayor on food stamps Cory Booker is a strong champion for his city, Newark, but the young lawmaker isn’t just content to accept the challenges he faces in governance alone.
As we reported earlier, the Newark mayor is on food stamps, but not due to fiscal hardship — Booker instead is willingly living in the poverty-like conditions for a week after a Twitter debate with fellow user and ardent detractor of the Supplemental Food Assistance Program, or SNAP, @MWadeNC.
The woman started the “mayor on food stamps” challenge when she and Booker went head to head over whether food stamps were a necessary program to feed struggling families or a government-provided luxury for people who don’t work hard enough to keep food on the table.
Since the “mayor on food stamps” challenge went viral, Booker has commented on attitudes like that of @MWadeNC, saying that ignorance about poverty and hunger in America led to comments like the ones made by the woman he challenged to the week on SNAP allocations.
“You can see from the twitter discussion that people have a real lack of understanding of the struggles that many families have to go through — hard working families that play by the rules.”
Booker added that he had hoped that by assuming the challenge, he could use his “mayor on food stamps” status to open the eyes of people like the woman with which he was debating about the reality of living on food stamps versus their stereotypes:
“One of my main goals will be to shine light on programs like this and dispel stereotypes that exist … As The Star-Ledger reported, more than 10 percent of New Jerseyans are working hard and playing by the rules but in this economy it’s still not enough.”
The challenge sparked off when Booker replied to the woman, in the following exchange:
We have a shared responsibility that kids go to school nutritionally ready 2 learn RT @mwadenc nutrition is not responsibility of the gov’t
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) November 19, 2012
As of now, it would seem that the anonymous Twitter user is waiting on contact from Booker’s people, as she has repeatedly tweeted that she has yet to receive details from Booker or a rep:
@katiezez Hi Katie, I have yet to hear anything from the Mayor or his staff, regarding the “challenge”.
— TwitWit (@MWadeNC) November 20, 2012
But unless @MWadeNC is getting cold feet about the reality of living on SNAP benefits, it seems the mayor of Newark will indeed be on food stamps for a week to raise awareness.