1. Newark Mayor Cory Booker vows to spend a week eating off of $4 a day, the average amount a food-stamp recipient receives. The idea arose from a spat between Brooker and a North Carolina mom over Twitter. 

    Brooker urged the woman, who disagrees with taxpayer funded school lunch programs, to take the “food stamp challenge” with him. While some critics are praising the Mayor’s pledge, others suggest Brooker is using the plight of the poor to score political points.

    Is Cory Booker an empathetic mayor or political panderer?

    PHOTO: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

    (Source: theweek.com)

     


  2. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is criticizing the House Republican budget for cutting food stamps and other social programs too drastically. Rep. Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, says his Catholic faith served as a guide when he wrote the spending plan, and that runaway government debt is what will really damage programs for the poor. But the bishops say making disproportionately large cuts to the food stamp program — $33 billion in reductions over 10 years — fails to meet the church’s “moral criteria” to “serve poor and vulnerable people.” Is slashing spending on food stamps really immoral?

    Yes. We have to help those in need: More Americans than ever are struggling in this sour economy, says Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite in The Washington Post, and it’s our “moral responsibility” to help them. “The ‘small government’ or even ‘no government’ folks want to say that the churches should pick up the slack on taking care of the poor instead of us paying taxes for a social safety net.” But churches simply “can’t do it all without the government.”

    More opinion

     

  3. One is seven U.S. citizens now receive aid to buy food. The food stamps program has become a flash point since GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said “more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history.” That’s true — however, others have pointed out that the number of recipients grew by a higher percentage under George W. Bush’s administration, with much of the expansion coming as the country sank into recession.

    Republicans across the nation are calling for new restrictions to limit benefits. Here, a guide to America’s growing dependency on food stamps