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December 7th, 2012
05:31 PM ET

Cory Booker on getting attention because of his SNAP Challenge: "Our media is fascinated with the pregnancy of a princess ... why aren't we talking about issues of poverty?"

Coming up this evening at 9, "Pier Morgan Tonight" welcomes Cory Booker for an exclusive and insightful visit which comes in the middle of his very personal crusade against hunger in the United States.

Well-known for selfless commitment to his work, and his community, the Newark mayor has taken on a new challenge of late, specifically the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Challenge, which has him attempting to eat for less than thirty dollars, over the course of a full week.

Currently on the fourth day of his pledge, Booker has received plenty of praise for his efforts, but he's also been criticized, as recently as Wednesday, by those who feel he's misrepresenting the food stamp program:

"It's not meant to be your only calorie intake source," said CNN's Christine Romans. "'Supplemental' is the key. The government designs it so this is on top of what little money you might have, food pantries, soup kitchens."

Having watched a clip of Romans' comment while sitting with Piers Morgan, the 43-year-old responded:

"Well first of all, I hope people are sniping. I hope there's dialogue, and attention on this, at a time that it seems like our media is fascinated with the pregnancy of a princess," shared Booker. "Why aren't we talking about issues of poverty? Why aren't we talking about issues of working families, who are working full-time jobs, and still can't make ends meet? I'm happy that the discussion, and the conversation is going on, and a degree that we never imagined when it started."

Though the food program may have the word "supplemental" in its title, the mayor argues that for many families struggling, "SNAP" is their only reliable source of consistent nourishment:

"I also want to let people know, that the reality is the reality. She [Romans] may think it's a supplemental program, but for many Americans, who are working even, this is the difference between going deep into food insecurity, not being able to provide for their families, and having a bridge to stability."

Watch the clip, and listen to the interview, then tune in at 9 as Cory Booker adds further context and perspective as to the details of his personal, week-long SNAP challenge.
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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. fran thomas

    I am watchng your program on food stamps. I was shocked to hear the average food stamp money in the State of New Jersey, because my Daughter gets food stamps...all of SIXTEEN DOLLARS A MONTH. We should move up there from Florida. I was so sure there was a mistake, I called the Dept. last year and their response was to reduce her monthly allotment from $29. to $16.00!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable! This is a College Graduate we are talking about who can't get a job teaching the deaf (Karen is deaf, herself), trying to eat on $16. a month! She ended up coming home.

    December 7, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. KStokes

    My daughter has been working a a grocery store while attending college. She is amazed at the people who come through her line at the check out and are paying with food stamps. They buy all kinds of junk food. Cakes from the bakery etc.

    December 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. karen geddes

    Cory Booker is a wonderful man. The world needs many more people like him. I hope he will run for senate or governor or SOMETHING! He has such humanity! I wish him every sucess. Good luck to him!

    December 7, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Andrew Glover

    I have a part time market gardening business and sell at local farmers' markets and over the past few years the general consensus from my customers is that the USA has lost a generation and a half of cooks. This means a lot of people on food stamps do not know how to cook and use different foods. I did at one time take food to a local food bank and had mainly eggplant and when the lady in charge asked the people waiting for food if they wanted some the response was what is eggplant or " I do not know how to use it". I do get some people on food stamps come to my stand at the farmers' market and buy food off of me and these seam to know what they wanted.

    December 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Jaker, Dublin

    The Republicans should be blamed for the "Fiscal Cliff" debacle...for they are the Architects of it's presence in the first place. Also...they have so much pride they're afraid to lose face...still what-ever they do Obama has all the aces up his sleeve & will win whatever they decide to do, because after the deadline he can just do what he say anyway.

    Re; the Kate & Phone Prank Tragedy.

    Sometimes a bullying joke/laughter can come back to haunt you & as you now see this "Prank" has turned these two pest's into "Cranks"!

    Re; the victim & her family & friends... I send my deepest condolences. RIP.

    Also, The law can be an "Ass" in Australia...because the stations lawyers involved okay ed this "Prank" to happen. So I'd advise the said station, to get other lawyers to replace the idiots they already employ.

    And why is the station so shy of this new news? I mean they are the only station to not have reported it yet to any listeners according to all other new networks reporting on this tragedy.

    Also, they only suspended them; till things quieten down. The nurses voice is now silenced forever because of what they's so sad, because she's now deceased not of her doing, but of theirs. Media...should all take a lesson from this...before acting out their "Silly Idiotic Confides"!

    Also, The D.J.s & the station apologised on Wednesday; & yet they kept using the material on social media to promote their station & up their profits. Shameful!

    Also, lastly I think, she may have committed suicide because she was put on world wide media looking like a fool when all she was, was the "Victim" of this prank...& then she probably thought this matter might go to court later on & she'd be in the headlines again, the scapegoat for it all in the eyes of the Prosecution...& also, she may have thought, she may have, that the hospital in the future might have found an excuse to let her go...also, she might have taken all the blame upon herself for this & being very ashamed of the whole matter. In other words, she probably felt so vulnerable.

    So the media, all media, should watch what they do & say in the future & think before they act of all repercussions that might ensue from silly profit & gain media "Pranks"!

    December 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. vicky

    I do not trust the royal family. They destroyed Diana's life and then she accidently died in a car accident. Sarah Ferguson is suffering emotional problems. Has the royals stayed out of their problems, I suspect that she and her ex-husband would have re-united. And now, this nurse commits suicide. It stinks.

    December 7, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jaker, Dublin

      She did die in a car accident (Diana) what do you think happened the Queen know, you theorists are getting sillier by the day. plus, the nurse died as a result of two idiotic Aussie D.J's silly prank...and now a lot of lives even their own are going to suffer from the fallout, not that I have any pity for these two!

      December 7, 2012 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
      • vicky

        Difference of opinion. Everyone has such right so what makes you right and me wrong and vice verse?

        December 8, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Catherine

    Food stamp fraud is very previlent in this country! I see it every day, Our government needs tooverhaul the whole program.I live in NC and see it everyday in the grocery store I work in. The people getting food stamps down here are eating better than most of the middle class working their asses off, eating lobster tails and steak, rib eye steaks !!! Buying food and taking it out in the parking lot and selling them for cash !!!REALLY !!!!! WE NEED TO REFORM THESE FOOD STAMP PROGRAMS !!! Limit certian foods and drinks. I could tell u stories . WAKE UP AMERICA!! THIS IS ONE REASON THAT WE ARE NOSE DIVING OVER THE CLIFF!!!!

    December 7, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. unifiedforjobs

    Reblogged this on unifiedforjobsinamerica and commented:
    I agree why is this country not addressing the ever growing crisis..Homelessness in America is NO LONGER RESERVED for Drug addicts and mental health patients...when will america wake up

    December 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Lord Toronaga

    Food Stamps is a govt program to supplement families whose sole source of income is selling drugs and stealing cars.

    December 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. unifiedforjobs

    Maybe if so many millions of Americans had jobs they wouldnt need food stamps but sure lets put the blame on the victims...grow up america

    December 8, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. rose macaskie

    I like Booker doing this bit on how much the poor have to eat and I hate the religious doing it. The religious ask people to vote for the right and then ask them to be sorry for the poor they have created by backing the right who deregulated the financiers leading to a bubble in bonds that brought down the world.
    Lets hope we get the wellfare state back and the poor properly looked after by a governments who gets them educated and housed so giving them a fighting chance to get on, instead of religuous groups, the extent of whose charity is to give out sandwhiches and the sort of education that makes it easier to sharply differentiate between the rich and the poor.
    Last night, I think it was, Quest had some important person in the business world saying that he wanted to be sure that conidtions went on being such as encouraged business in the west. Which means that wages are low and contracts are short and other such things that are so bad for much of the population.The business world brought down so many countries and they go on insisting that their destructive ideas for maintaining the economy are the good ones, ideas that reduce the amount of people whowere capable of spending enormously which is to say reduced the spending power of those who drive the economy, it being spending that drives the economy not the investment of billionaires.
    Their cheek never stops, they never stop trying to have their cake and eat it too, to bring down the world and to go on hoping people will accept their ruinous ideas about our economies.
    In America they call austerity going over the fiscal cliff but in Europe they pretend austerity is economically sound, though it has got to the point in which even Germany is going down, now no one in europe is buying their goods they too are going down, they pulled themselves down by their own boot straps when they pulled the countries that were their market down. rose macaskie madrid.

    December 8, 2012 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. GaryDMN

    SNAP is supplemental and intended for people with special nutrition needs. Most people that get food stamps don't qualify for SNAP, but some people that receive SNAP don't qualify for the food stamp program.

    December 11, 2012 at 10:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
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