March 24, 2018

Trump pitches plan to replace food stamps with food boxes

15 February 2018, 08:15 | Melvin Schneider

Possible changes coming to SNAP

What Can SNAP Buy? | Food and Nutrition Service

It was announced Monday the the new budget proposal from the Trump administration included drastic changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (better known as SNAP, or the old term food stamps) dropping numerous items beneficiaries receive in an effort to reduce costs.

On Monday, the Trump Administration proposed changing SNAP benefits - the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for individuals and families.

Households that receive $90 or more in SNAP benefits would get a box of 100 percent US -grown and produced food.

The plan was criticized due to questions about whether the boxes would contain healthy ingredients and how poor Americans without a vehicle would pick up the boxes.

"I think when we're talking about proposals and changes to benefits and things like that, it's just important that we really focus on the people it affects", added Lemmon.

The president's budget would reduce SNAP by roughly $213 billion over the next 10 years.

The new box is being hailed as "America's Harvest Box", and this program would replace more than half the money now allocated to families through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

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The box, coined as "USDA America's Harvest Box", would include food grown by American farmers including milk, juice, cereals, pasta, canned produce, and more, according to the administration's proposal. In addition to a steep 25 percent cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, Trump would fundamentally alter how the program works.

That would mean the USA government would have a say in what 17 million people are eating.

But there's also the simple fact of dignity, of having the say in what you do and do not consume.

The USDA estimated the savings would amount to $129 billion over a ten year period.

"I hope they allow points of access for that and hope the program still will allow people to make some of those choices on their own", he said. The program would represent a significant undertaking in terms of logistics for the federal bureaucracy that the White House and the Trump administration have time and time again claimed to be wasteful and unwieldy.

Executive Director Joe Arthur says he wasn't expecting an immediate impact from that conversation, but the recent proposal of a 20 percent cut in benefits is disappointing.

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