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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Oh, please:

Newark Mayor Cory Booker said he and a Twitter follower will try living on food stamps for at least a week.

The idea stemmed from a back-and-forth conversation between Mayor Booker and a woman who goes by the name TwitWit and uses the handle (at)MWadeNC. They began talking about the idea while discussing the role the government should play in funding school breakfast and lunch programs.

Doesn't he know the coolest kids these days are camping out overnight to see what it's like to be homeless? Living one food stamps for a  week -- oh, that so 2010. What's next, a fat suit so he can understand the obese? Walk a mile in high heels?


tim zank
Tue, 11/27/2012 - 6:40pm

$272.77 is the average "SNAP" benefit monthly per household in New Jersey....maybe I'm just frugal but I can buy a frickload of good groceries for $272.77 a month


Harl Delos
Tue, 11/27/2012 - 11:29pm

Accordng to the USDA (http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/Publications/FoodPlans/2012/CostofFoodJan2012.pdf) it costs $181.30 monthly for a male 19-50, $161.00 for a wife of similar age, $168.80 for a teen son, and $152.80 for his younger sibling.  That's $663/monthly for the *thrifty" plan; it's $1100 for the moderate plan, and I didn't calculate the low cost or the liberal plans.

A family of four that buys $272/month on groceries is eating out a lot, and hitting the vending machines and convenience stores heavily.  Either that, or else they are shoplifting to beat the band.

Tim, you better ask your wife how much she's spending at the supermarket.  If it isn't quite a bit more than $272 monthly, you better start budgeting for a criminal lawyer,

Christopher Swing
Thu, 11/29/2012 - 5:46am

Tim, Twinkies by the gross don't count. We're talking about *real* groceries here.

tim zank
Thu, 11/29/2012 - 10:29am

Harl, I just looked through my debit card transactions quickly for November..looks like about $155 at Meijers, and my wife spent about $100 at Aldi's yesterday...we have one teenager left at home and we don't eat out (save the two $10 carry out pizza's from the Hut)...

I've been doing the majority of cooking and grocery shopping while raising 3 kids for 30 years..I can assure you $275 to $300 a month spent wisely per month will feed a family of 3 or 4 very well...

Andrew J.
Thu, 11/29/2012 - 11:45am

Average monthly cost of groceries in Indiana: $275

Average montly cost of groceries in New Jersey: $337

Makes sense why you can buy more to feed a family in Indiana.

tim zank
Thu, 11/29/2012 - 12:03pm

AJ, not sure where your figures come from but here's the weekly grocery circular for Shoprite in Garwood (close to where Booker will be shopping in Newark) and the prices are the same or even a little lower (pork for instance) than Meijers in Angola..




Look through the ad and see what you can buy in the real world...$275 will get ya a frickload of food from Shoprite in Garwood New Jersey...


Harl Delos
Thu, 11/29/2012 - 3:11pm

Some things are cheaper in Indiana, and other things in New Jersey.  Milk in that New Jersey was marked down to $3.58, and that was store brand.  On the other hand, seafood and produce are cheaper there than here.

You can get by with only two trips to the store monthly?  You're willing to eat moldy bread and put spoiled milk into your coffee the two weeks you don't shop?  You never pay cash for food, never go to a restaurant or fast-food outlet, never pick up a six-pack of Pepsi at the gas station, order a pizza, or pick up a candy bar from a vending machine?

Post a shopping list of the foods you'd buy to feed a family of four for a month.  I don't think you can get the RDA of protein, vitamins, and minerals for $275 a month for a family of four.