Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Trump Wants To Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes

Trump Wants To Replace Food Stamps With Food Boxes

The Trump administration says that the change to food stamps would be used to cut fraud and enhance nutrition.

A new proposal by the Trump administration would cut monetary food assistance for 81 percent of recipient households in half and replace that benefit with USDA food. Currently, SNAP beneficiaries can buy what they want with all of their monthly benefits as long as it falls under the guidelines. Would this mean the government dictated the foods each family gets - say, Wheaties instead of Corn Pops, chunky peanut butter instead of smooth? According to Politico, the box would contain "100 percent USA grown and produced food" and would feature foods like "shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned fruits and meats, and cereal". The change would affect approximately 38 million people, according to CNN.

The White House says the proposal would offer people more nutritious options while saving the government money.

But those savings could come at a staggering cost to dollar stores, Walmart, and other retailers that serve low-income families.

"It is a good idea to control the abuse- it's a good idea to give nutrition to people if they can manage it well", said Malabeh. "So we're pretty excited about that", Mulvaney said during the briefing Monday.

The United State Department of Agriculture believes this would save $214 billion over 10 years while providing healthy food for low-income Americans, Bloomberg reported.

The budget expanded on the administration's "previous proposals to strengthen expectations for work among able-bodied adults, preserve benefits for those most in need, promote efficiency in State operations, and improve program integrity".

"USDA America's Harvest Box is a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families", USDA Sec.

The proposed transformation of the nation's food stamp program brings up logistical questions about distribution and transportation; recordkeeping and security.

If the program is approved, it would slash the amount of cash those shoppers have to spend on food, directly impacting the stores they frequent.

The packages recipients would be given would not include fresh fruits or vegetables.

What isn't clear is how the food would be distributed to millions of SNAP recipients who live all over the country, including dense urban areas and sparsely populated rural regions.

The reality of the Harvest Box is dystopian delivery compared to a meal kit, which has become a marker of middle-class luxury.

Although these changes are significant, it should be noted these proposed changes to SNAP would be hard to pass through Congress.

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