Food stamp recipients could see fresh food replaced with boxes

USDA Eyeing Changes To Federal Food Benefit Program That Would Give States More Control | Harvest Public Media

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney compared the idea to Blue Apron, the meal-kit delivery service that sends subscribers gourmet recipes and ingredients.

- The Trump administration wants to replace food stamps to low-income families with government-mandated harvest boxes of food.

In Montana, the benefits are distributed through the electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, system.

The government's food box contains made-in-the-U.S.A. products, but the feds haven't spelled out whether it would be shipped, whether boxes would be tailored to different recipients, and how it would organize the supply chain.

Trump officials told reporters on Monday that the reforms would affect approximately 16 million Americans who now participate in SNAP, or 81 percent of households in the program.

Under the proposal, SNAP recipients would begin to receive some of their benefits in the form of a package with groceries inside.

But those savings could come at a staggering cost to dollar stores, Walmart, and other retailers that serve low-income families. They also say the program will improve the nutritional value of the food stamp program and help reduce the potential for food stamp fraud. "So we're pretty excited about that". According to the administration, it could save the federal government $129 billion over the next decade.


President Donald Trump announced plans to make major cuts to SNAP benefits on Monday during his budget request for 2019.

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

"America's Harvest Box is a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families - and all of it is home grown by American farmers and producers".

Some of Blue Apron's offerings include beef medallions and scallion salsa verde, salmon and dukkah-spiced vegetables and creamy fusilli bucati pasta with fried rosemary and walnuts, according to their website.

Opponents to the president's plan believe canned and boxed food is not as healthy as fresh food that can be purchased with food stamps at grocery stores. Like when they canceled Michelle Obama's healthy school lunch program a year ago because it tried to tell people what food give their kids?

Reducing the program would be done through "America's Harvest Boxes". Food Bank officials don't think the SNAP Program deserves a dramatic change. Food stamps account for 7.5% of the $840 billion supermarket industry.

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