Categorized | Editorial

EDITORIAL: Throwing Our Hats into the Ring

Challenging Newark Mayor Cory Booker

Can one person survive on $33 a week for food? That is a little more than $4 a day for food. This past December Newark Mayor Cory Booker accepted a challenge from a North Carolina Woman Tweeting who challenged the Mayor to live on food stamps for a week.

Cory Booker accepted the challenge and agreed to live on $33 for a week ($4.71/day). Some people took the challenge with him.

Could you live off $4.71 a day? Would you be able to eat healthy?

We’re going shopping. Many local smaller stores may have higher prices than national chain grocery stores, so let’s take a look at where we can go. Locally there’s ShopRite, Wegmans, Pathmark, Walmart etc.

The cheapest food I can think of is Mac & Cheese. If your lucky, you can get a box on sale for 39 cents. But you need milk and butter to mix in it.

$2.60 for 4 sticks of butter $2.73 for 7 boxes of mac and cheese, $3.00 for 2 lb of broccoli. Some canned peas & carrots $2.50. 2 dozen eggs $4.00. $4.40 for organic milk (it will last the week) Oodles of Noodles at 50 cents a package, so buy 8 packages roughly $4.00. Spaghetti and sauce, roughly $5.00. Maybe some cereal – store brand Cheerios around $3.00 a box. Some chicken legs $3.00. That’s roughly $33.

You could ration cereal and for the mornings. Hard boil eggs for snacks. Have the Oodles of Noodles for lunch and make macaroni/chicken stir fry for dinner. One or two days have Spaghetti. If you’re thirsty drink tap water.

I don’t think this is very healthy. Pasta is very cheap but too much pasta is no good for you.

I personally think I would have a difficult time doing this. Cory Booker said he bought yams and ate that. The trouble is that many Americans live like this all the time.

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, CATO Institute there are 4,300,000 people in the United States on welfare, 46,700,000 on food stamps, and 5,600,000 people on unemployment. That’s 4.1% of the population of the United States that is on welfare. The total government spending on welfare annually (not including food stamps or unemployment) is $131.9 billion.

That is a lot of people in this country on federal assistance. An individual can make a total of $1000 a month and still collect welfare. In 40 states it is more beneficial to be on welfare than work an $8/hr. job. In 9 states it pays more than being a teacher.

Something to think about. How many people do I see going to the food pantry on New Brunswick Avenue on Saturday mornings? It is quite crowded.

Whatever your financial situation is, coupons are important. Take advantage of the cards issued by the grocery stores. Stock up on nonperishable items. Store brands are usually made by the same company as the name brands. ShopRite has can-can sales. Catch these items while they’re hot. Homemade soups are great money saver. Look in your refrigerator – there’s probably items you can put in it. Sometimes in the aisles there are coupons for instant savings.

The circulars are a good source for everything on sale. Coupons are in the paper every weekend.

Are you up to taking the Cory Booker challenge? Can you live off of $33 for 7 days for food? I see this being more difficult than it seems to be. I think I’ll pass. Carolyn will do the challenge

K.M. & C.M.

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