It will go up here at BizzyBlog on Wednesday (link won’t work until then) after the blackout expires.
The core contention about Cory Booker’s Food Stamp Challenge participation is that he should have been trying to get by on $46.03 during his challenge week instead of just under $30. In demonstrating how easy this should be, I supplied the following information:
- Seven 15-ounce cans of various generic or store-brand vegetables should cost no more than about 80¢ each, for a total of $6 (rounded). Each can supposedly has 3.5 servings, but since Booker is an ex-football player, I’ll assume that each can will only last him two meals. That’s 14 meals, or enough for a full week of lunches and dinners.
- Seven 15-ounce or 20-ounce cans of generic or store-brand fruits averaging $1.25 each will cost $9 (rounded). That’s also enough for all required lunches and dinners.
- A gallon of milk and a gallon of orange juice come in at a combined $7 or so, enough to provide a 12-ounce serving of one or the other for all 21 weekly meals.
I was being generous.
Here is more finely tuned info, based on visits to local grocery stores (Wal-Mart, Kroger, Meijer) during the past week:
- Four-can packages of vegetables from a well-known national brand were featured at Walmart for 50¢ each, reducing the $6 above to $4, with a can of veggies to spare. At Kroger you could buy a number of different canned vegetables for 59ç each, or just barely over $4.
- The average price of a mix of 15-ounce and 20-ounce cans of fruit was about 95¢ at Wal-Mart and about $1.10 at Kroger, in Walmart’s case reducing the $9 above to below $7 and Kroger to just below $8.
- The milk and OJ number of $7 looks about right.
So, to rephrase … “That leaves $27-$28 (rounded; $46 minus the $20-$21 sum of the three areas just noted), which is surely enough to provide for all breakfasts and anything else Booker wants to add to his lunches and dinners, including more generous servings of fruits and vegetables. Meat-eaters could spend about $7 for seven cans (14 servings) of heat-and-eat canned pasta and still have $20-$21 left for all breakfasts.”
Food stamp benefits for those who truly need them are not too stingy by any stretch of the imagination. It’s an insult to our intelligence that organizations like the Food Research and Action Council (FRAC) believe that they are.