In lieu of my usual Stupid List Friday, I’m posting a different kind of list. One that isn’t stupid, which probably isn’t as fun as the stupid kind, but hopefully just as interesting.
Instead, it’s about Mayor Cory Booker’s SnapChallenge. Even though I have never been to New Jersey, I am a fan of Mayor Booker for the following 10 reasons:
1. He’s Like a Superhero
In case you haven’t heard, the man jumped into a fire and saved someone.
2. He Knows How to Work His Social Media
It’s a bit impressive reading through Mayor Booker’s Twitter feed and all of the replies to people who are tweeting him for help. I don’t know if he has staff helping him, but I am pretty sure he gets a shit ton of tweets. I have not seen many politicians on Twitter as involved with their communities as Mayor Booker and I believe from following him on Twitter and occasionally visiting his Facebook fan page, that he genuinely cares about people. If you aren’t following him, you should be. Oh, and also, he totally snagged a bunch of free Hot Pockets during Hurricane Sandy.
3 – 10. He is Taking the SnapChallenge
Too many people are overly concerned with what someone else is getting and for some reason, there is a large part of the asshole population who think that people on food stamps are somehow getting over. You cannot know what the life is unless you live that life and I think the SnapChallenge is the Mayor’s way of sort of finding out. The challenge is that you find out how much you would receive in food stamps and live on that for one week.
So, I’m going to try it. Obviously, you can’t experience an entire lifestyle in a week but through the SNAPChallenge, you can at least get an idea of what it would be like to only have $30 a week in your budget for food. That is how much the Mayor is allotted in New Jersey during the SNAPChallenge. In Minnesota, the guidelines say that the maximum benefit is $115.04 per month per person, which (and I don’t know if my daughter would be considered another whole person) would mean for us, $230.08. This means for the week of the SnapChallenge, December 4 through December 11, I have $57.52 to spend on food. Remember, this is the maximum amount allowed to a couple in Minnesota. I don’t even want to imagine the situation I would have to be in to qualify for this amount.
And before I get a bunch of comments from anti-food stamp people, here are some myths about food stamp recipients you may want to consider (plus it’s a list in case you’re really, really missing Stupid List Friday):
Only Minorities Are on Food Stamps: FALSE
According to 2010 Census Data, 49% of food stamp recipients were white.
Only Loser Lazy Grown Ups Who Don’t Want to Work Are on Food Stamps: FALSE
47% of beneficiaries in 2010 were children under 18; 8% were 60 years or older.
Only Unemployed People Receive Food Stamps: FALSE
41% of people who receive food stamps live in a household with earnings from a JOB.
And although I don’t have a source, the biggest myth to me is that people WANT to be on food stamps. I don’t believe for a second that most recipients would not prefer to have their own money and feed their families over receiving SNAP. Yes, there are those who may take advantage of it, but considering how low the maximum amount is, I don’t see how it would be worth it.
If you want to join the SNAPChallenge, let me know in the comments. Here’s a video to get started. (And make sure you follow the Mayor to see how he’s doing.)
Also, my questions: Are you currently or have you ever been a recipient of food stamps? And if you have tips for managing the grocery budget while receiving SNAP benefits, please share.
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