If Anthony Weiner seems less energetic than usual on the campaign trail this week, it may have to do with his eating habits, as he, fellow mayoral candidate John Liu and other politicians are living on food stamps to draw attention to the issue of hunger. NY1's Bobby Cuza filed the following report.
There was a lot of talk Wednesday about a seemingly inane topic: Anthony Weiner's diet.
The subject, though, is a serious one: how to combat hunger in New York, where 1.8 million people are on food stamps. To draw attention to their plight, Weiner will, for the next week, eat just $31 worth of food, the average weekly allocation for food stamps. That means no eating out.
"I'm going to live this week on $1.48 per meal," he said. "I doubt I'll be able to do that at any restaurant in the city."
He's not the only mayoral candidate accepting the challenge. John Liu said he'll be subsisting mostly on pasta and bread.
"If we want to lead a city of eight-and-a-half million people, so many of whom are hungry, and their kids are hungry, we should understand what it's like to live on an allowance of $1.50 per meal," Liu said.
The Food Bank of New York City issued the so-called food stamps challenge to politicians and celebrities to draw attention to proposed cuts in Washington. Under versions of the Farm Bill currently being considered by Congress, billions of dollars would be cut from the food stamp program, and advocates say New Yorkers would be disproportionately affected.
About two dozen members of Congress are undertaking a similar diet, including Joe Crowley of Queens, who invited the media along for his grocery shopping.
As for Weiner, he said he'll likely document the results of his challenge - where else? - on Twitter.