On Wednesday, Anthony Weiner became the latest official to embark on the “Food Stamp Challenge,” where privileged politicians live on just $31.08 a week–or $1.48 per meal–to raise awareness of the hardships faced by those living in poverty.
“In New York City, there’s an enormous amount of need right under our nose,” said Mr. Weiner, who intends to participate for a week, and said he started the day with nothing but a cup of tea for breakfast–which he’d dunked repeatedly to try to capture maximum caffeine.
That might explain why Mr. Weiner–usually brimming with confidence and at no loss for words–seemed strangely unprepared, requesting a press release from his spokeswoman and reading directly from the page until he found his groove in the midst of the pricey green market in Union Square, surrounded by $6 pints of strawberries, $8 rhubarb pies and artisanal cheeses that likely wouldn’t last him through the day.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, known for single-handedly protecting constituents from burning flames, blizzard obstructions and crime, is currently attempting to live on a limited budget to better understand how food stamp recipients live their day-to-day lives. It may be the so-called “super mayor’s” most difficult feat yet. Why? “Caffeine withdrawal.”
“You make tough choices,” Mr. Booker explained after his first day under the self-imposed budgetary restrictions. “The tough choice I have to live with this week is that I used my money to buy a lot of different things, but not caffeine. So I’m going to go this week without coffee, without Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, which is going to be the first week of my life I can ever actually remember doing that.”