Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a noted rising star in the Democratic Party, may soon be living on food stamps.
Booker has not fallen on hard times but, rather, has taken on a challenge to experience life enrolled into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program.
The mayor — who interacts frequently with his Twitter followers — challenged one of his followers, @MWadeNC, to join him in the challenge of living on food stamps, after the tweeter, who bills herself as an “Army Veteran, Army Daughter, Army Wife … fighting against any and all forms of socialism/communism,” criticized Booker for quoting the Greek historian Plutarch on Sunday.
“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics’ Plutarch ancient Greek historian (c. 46 – 120 CE)” Booker tweeted.
“We pay 4 HUGE back end govt programs: prisons, police, etc. If we invested in Schools, nutrition, etc we’d save $ & create wealth,” Booker tweeted to another follower another who charged that Booker wanted to “redistribute wealth,” to which @MWadeNC responded, “nutrition is not a responsibility of the government.”
“We have a shared responsibility that kids go to school nutritionally ready 2 learn,” Booker answered, receiving a “why is there a family today that is ‘too poor to afford breakfast’? are they not already receiving food stamps?” tweet back from @MWadeNC
The back and forth culminated with Booker offering @MWadeNC a challenge: “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?”
@MWadeNC accepted on Twitter “sure, Mayor, I’m game.”
Tuesday Booker took to Twitter again to confirm his commitment on the challenge.
“Been challenged by thoughtful people 2 go longer. I will & after Thanksgiving start MT@melmeyer23: Going to live on foodstamps 4 a wk?” he tweeted.
According to reports, the mayor will adhere to rules dictated by University of Bridgeport — which has scheduled there own food stamp challenge this December. The challenge does not require the parties to enroll in SNAP, but instead budget $35 a week for food and drink. Participants are also not allowed to accept help from friends or family, or eat what is already in their homes.
Booker spokesman Mark Matzen told Politico that the challenge will likely happen in December, that the details are still being finalized, and that the Newark mayor may also ask more to join him in the endeavor.