$4 A Day


A lot of us judge people living on food stamps. But could you survive on food stamps, and if not would you be as quick to judge?

That’s what Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker wants to find out. He will live on food stamps for a week. He started on Tuesday. He was challenged on Twitter earlier this month by a person following him on Twitter.


“December 4 to 11. Seven days,” Booker said he will be limited to $1.40 for each meal.

The average monthly food stamp benefit was $133.26 per person in New Jersey in fiscal year 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As mayor, Booker makes about 100 times that amount, $13,400 a month.

Politicians and community leaders around the country have taken on similar challenges in recent years to highlight the difficulty of relying solely on government aid for nutrition.

He’s not the first Mayor to take part, mayors in Philadelphia, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and the Colorado Gov. did so within the past few years.

Most participated in the “Food Stamp Challenge,” a program from the nonprofit Food Research and Action Center that gives out tools to help organizations and individuals live on a food stamp budget, typically for a week. It even developed a how-to-guide for members of Congress, which includes testimonials from eight politicians.