Why Is Mario Batali on Food Stamps?

Categories: Edible News

Charles Haynes
Here's a publicity stunt we can get behind: Mario Batali and his family are eating for a week on a food stamp budget--$31 a person, for the entire week. Batali is protesting budget cuts to SNAP pending in Congress.

Batali is on the board of the Food Bank for New York City, which suggested celebrity chefs take the challenge May 11 though 17. Here's how it has gone so far:

"Rice and beans is in my lunch every day," Batali said. "We got a bag of mini gala apples for $3. We bought a pork shoulder roast for $8 and got two and a half meals out of it. I got a whole chicken for $5, but it was spoiled so I had to return it and got a $7 chicken instead. They were out of $5 chickens."

Go here to tell Congress to protect food stamps, instead of slashing and restructuring the food stamp program, the single biggest source of food for New Yorkers who rely on soup kitchens and food pantries.

OC Register via Eater

Follow me @tejalrao or send me an email at trao@villagevoice.com. To keep up with all our food coverage follow @ForkintheRoadvv.


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8 comments
Kiep99
Kiep99

Thanks Chef Batali!   The GOP's successive cuts to SNAP, coupled with the 3 year freeze on SS benefits' CPI rise & its base CPI-W which doesn't include food & energy or med bill rises, etc. have put more poor & elderly at risk for even poorer health.

If you have relatives on SS, small pensions, Medicare/Medicaid, etc. please use the link above to pressure Congress.  Then help vote out the GOTeaP in November.

Michijo
Michijo

I live on food stamps, and they purchase enjoyable food products for mastication.

Brigman
Brigman

I live on $25-30 a week as a single man on groceries and I eat very healthy. I'm socially very liberal, so I understand the pull for more money. But, I also think there should be more resources put towards education in how to spend and manage our money. People wasted SO MUCH. Regarding food specifically, produce/Vegetables can be cheap if chosen correctly. For example, I eat rice and beans for lunch sometimes, but to spice it up I buy a fresh jalapeno ($0.14), tomato (~$0.30), cilantro (~1.00/bundle), and red onion ($0.35). Not exactly living the high life, but that $1.75 spices up 2-3 lunches for a person. People should learn to be more creative in the grocery store and to be more alert to the normal prices of items, so they can recognize a good sale. However, I'm lucky enough to have a good education to support my decision making skills, so I can't fully compare my situation to people who are less fortunate. Just a thought.  

handsome b wonderful
handsome b wonderful

What a freedom fighter for the poor and unfortunate. Dude should concentrate on workers rights for his own employees. 

Cas_eindhoven
Cas_eindhoven

Wow, $25-30 a week in 2012??  I did that for a few weeks back in '95 as a stereotypically poor student and all I could get was canned tuna and such!

I am, however, now investigating simply eating less...much older now and not the muscle-head I used to be so I've made cuts to my diet -- with an eye towards even more scaling back...

Brigman
Brigman

Admittedly, I'm one of those people that grazes for most of the day. But, I eat around 4-5 times a day in smaller quantities, with lunch being my biggest meal. It's just habits I've developed and a lot of people lack the organization to do it, not that I'm saying one way is right or isn't. Hey, VillageVoice, you could always hire me to write one article on how to live on $30 a week for groceries in NYC. I would crush that and probably even buy a 22 of Bud Heavy just to show off. (patrick.b.brigman@gmail.com) I love the VV food blog, by the way. One suggestion - there should probably be more articles about hidden restaurants with cheap roasted duck and less about $74 lunches. Although, I would like to eat Foie Gras at 1 PM, it's probably not on the cards for most of your readers, who are hip, young, etc... Brigman out

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