Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Donald Trump Plans To Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes

Donald Trump Plans To Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes

"Often considered the backbone of their community, America's independent supermarket operators have always been indispensable partners in the SNAP food delivery system, serving millions of low-income households, including families with children, the elderly, and disabled", noted Greg Ferrara, EVP of advocacy, public relations, and member services at the Arlington-based National Grocers Association (NGA).

The changes would include replacing about half of the money people receive per month with boxes of food staples - "shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, and canned fruit and vegetables".

Fox 25 reports that Budget Director Mick Mulvaney described the new program recently, and it's one that would give SNAP recipients food boxes instead of funds meant for food.

The president's plan would replace about half of every household's SNAP benefits with a home delivered food box.

The proposed program was met with mixed opinions on Twitter. Several grocery industry leaders have also criticized Harvest Box, saying its expensive and inefficient.

That savings requires a almost 30 percent budget cut to the SNAP program. "Restructuring SNAP in the way proposed by the president would have a ripple effect throughout communities".

"I just got off food stamps", Anthony Burke said. Currently, SNAP beneficiaries can buy what they want with all of their monthly benefits as long as it falls under the guidelines.

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States would have flexibility in how they choose to distribute the food to SNAP recipients.

The reforms at the Department of Housing and Urban Development were intended "to encourage the dignity of work and self-sufficiency" and "chart a new course for the future of public housing", the document said. USDA claims the new plan would save $129.2 billion over 10 years.

Supporters-even EBT users-say it could cut down on abuse. In 2016, the USDA made $2.6 billion in improper payments.

Social welfare groups and advocates quickly questioned the proposal, which would need congressional approval and require big logistical changes to implement.

The SNAP program, also known as food stamps, would be changed in the proposed budget by sending poor Americans who receive more than $90 a month in assistance boxes of food.

On health care for low-income Americans, Trump's budget calls for cutting federal Medicaid funding substantially over the coming decade. SNAP participants would receive domestically-sourced and produced food in lieu of a portion of their SNAP benefits. Yearly increases would be tied to inflation - which typically rises more slowly than spending on medical costs.

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