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newsmoments.net June 19, 2018


White House plan would change food SNAP benefits for low-income people

14 February 2018, 06:47 | Simon Arnold

White House proposing to change how millions of Americans eat

Possible changes coming to SNAP

The people affected are households that receive at least $90 a month in assistance, or 81 percent of all Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients.

Under the government's current program, food stamp recipients use a payment card, similar to a debit card, to buy food, and the USDA has strict rules about what can be bought with the benefits. The Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees released a joint statement Monday saying that the budget will not prevent them from doing their job of producing a Farm Bill that benefits farmers, consumers, and other stakeholders.

Detailed in Trump's ridiculous budget, the food box would feature shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, ready-to-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables.

"Though there are already restrictions on how food stamps may be used, the so-called America's Harvest Box represents a significantly more restrictive approach to food aid".


A spokesperson for USDA confirmed that states would oversee the packing and distribution of the boxes - and could not answer questions regarding what would happen if people were unable to receive mail at home, were homeless, or had transport or work issues stopping them from picking up the box. She likes that replacing benefits with an actual box of food limits access to junk food. "Perhaps this proposal would save money in one account, but based on our decades of experience in the program, it would increase costs in other areas that would negate any savings".

White House OMB Director Mick Mulvaney calls the boxes a "Blue Apron-type program" in reference to the meal kit boxes that haven't performed well since its debut in 2017.

Gruber also says they send educators into community to help empower people with the tools to shop healthy on a budget, something this plan would counteract.

But what the Trump administration is proposing is to take away a majority of that choice, by sending half of their benefits in the form of a "USDA Foods package" and half as money.


This budget - including this proposal - is morally unsound.

#TrumpBudget cuts for hungry families on #SNAP includes NO PLAN for delivering these so-called Harvest Boxes. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that it could supply these goods at about half the cost of retail, enabling it to reduce the cost of SNAP while still feeding the needy.

This and other changes in the SNAP program, according to the Trump administration, will reduce the SNAP budget by $213 billion over those years - cutting the program by nearly 30 percent.

Actually, it's the United States' tax burden that is keeping dollars out of local grocery stores and small businesses to support bloated and wasteful government programs like SNAP. They feared it would upend a much-needed benefit for more than 80% of those in the program.




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