Cory Booker Eats Lettuce and Chickpeas for Breakfast on Food Stamp Diet

Newark's mayor is on a $30-a-week food stamp diet this week, and sharing his (often strange) meals

This week, Cory Booker is putting his (grocery) money where his mouth is. The Newark mayor is on a $30-a-week food stamp diet, or “#SNAPchallenge," as he’s calling it on Twitter. SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the government-funded program that helps 46 million Americans each month.

Booker, no stranger to Twitter, has been providing a constant stream of photos and updates, including his grocery bill from Pathmark, which totaled $29.78. As you can see in the photo above, he stocked up on canned goods, sweet potatoes, red delicious apples, frozen vegetables, pre-washed bagged lettuce and a large bottle of olive oil. Booker is a vegetarian, so that’s why you’re seeing so many cans of beans.

His haul is certainly healthy, but it doesn’t look filling, especially for a grown man. While it’s clear that he is only eating what’s in this photo (not even coffee!), a person on a real-life food stamp diet might have some pantry staples like spices, onions or rice to turn these ingredients into actual meals – and make them taste better too.

A few tips to stretch Booker’s budget:

  • Not a shocker, but worth mentioning: dried beans are infinitely cheaper than canned.
  • Some vegetarians avoid eating eggs, but they are a cheap and delicious source of protein.
  • A bag of white or brown rice, or a box of dried pasta could help turn some of these ingredients into a complete meal, and for just a few cents per serving.
  • In another tweet, Booker revealed he was eating lettuce with chickpeas for breakfast. A can of plain oatmeal would be healthier and also inexpensive.
  • Prewashed, ready-to-eat lettuce is always more expensive than the regular kind. We know Booker is a busy man, but when it comes to budget shopping, sometimes you’ve got to spend a little extra time in the kitchen to save money.
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