Donald Trump Plans To Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes

Feb 14, 2018, 18:20
Donald Trump Plans To Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes

Specifically, the Trump budget proposal would gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, by $17.2 billion in 2019 - equivalent to 22 percent of the program's total cost previous year - and implement a boxed food delivery program, a system that White House budget director Mick Mulvaney compared to Blue Apron.

The Trump administration hasn't said exactly how families would receive the food boxes, saying states could distribute them through existing partnerships or directly to houses through delivery services.

In a statement provided to The Hill, Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueThe Hill's 12:30 Report Agriculture chief Sonny Perdue is "designated survivor" for Trump's State of the Union Live coverage: Trump delivers his first State of the Union MORE defended the "bold, innovative approach" to feeding the nation's hungry.

It would be called "America's Harvest Box" and include food that doesn't go bad fast like peanut butter, pasta and canned fruits.

The proposed budget, released Monday, would gut SNAP benefits by $17.2 billion in 2019, about 22 percent of the program's total cost past year. Food stamps, technically called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), face a $17 billion cut in 2019 alone, and stand to lose $213 billion over the next 10 years.

If the harvest box program is feasible and would in fact save money, it would benefit every American to reduce waste, fraud, and abuse.

The Managing Attorney of the Georgia Legal Services, Bill Broker, says food stamps are a lifeline for many. While the White House continues to work at selling this program to the public and Congress, it's still unclear how these boxes would be delivered. Currently, SNAP beneficiaries can buy what they want with all of their monthly benefits as long as it falls under the guidelines.

According to the Food Research and Action Center, the harvest box is "a Rube-Goldberg designed system" that would replace the EBT cards that SNAP recipients use at supermarkets, grocery stores, farmers markets and elsewhere, and would be "costly, inefficient, stigmatizing, and prone to failure".

The President said that any household qualifying for more than $90 in food stamps, would receive the new boxes. SNAP participants would receive domestically-sourced and produced food in lieu of a portion of their SNAP benefits.

Uncle Sam may be radically changing the federal government's SNAP program. A family of four eligible for SNAP must make no more than $31,980 per year, or less than 130 percent of the poverty line.

"The SNAP program is incredibly important to people in our community who are living on a very limited income and need help getting food", Day said Tuesday.