White House plan would change food SNAP benefits for low-income people

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney. Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images

SNAP provides an average of $125 per month to 42.2 million Americans.

The amount of boxed food received per household would be scaled to the overall size of the household's SNAP allotment, ultimately representing about half of their benefits.

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. Currently, SNAP beneficiaries can buy what they want with all of their monthly benefits as long as it falls under the guidelines.

It is unclear how these boxes would be distributed.

Now comes President Trump, with the meanest and dumbest approach to food stamps in recent memory... Tens of billions of SNAP benefits are spent each year in their stores.

The remainder of their benefits will be available on their debit card.

Who would put together these boxes of food? "They're going to feel the preset boxes, the limited options". "To change your diet", said Afemo Omilami of Hosea Helps.

In The Washington Post, Mulvaney characterized the proposed initiative as allowing enrollees to "receive the food instead of. the cash", further explaining, "It lowers the cost to us because we can buy [at wholesale prices], whereas they have to buy it at retail".

"The beans are a great source of fiber protein, the peanut butter", Ward said. "Ultimately the best recourse for this, if you don't like the product, is to go out and get a job so you can pay for your groceries".

Instead of fresh fruits and vegetables, the program would prioritize canned goods.

"I think it would end up creating food waste".

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The proposal has drawn swift opposition from the supermarket industry.

"Families are able to access fresh, local food, while directly benefiting Montana producers".

"It would reduce benefits and undercut the program's efficiency and effectiveness", she said".

The United States government has reportedly been inspired by companies like Blue Apron to revamp the nation's food stamp program.

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

Indeed, issues such as allergies, bowel difficulties, and even simple preferences would invariably make the program a hard sell to food stamp recipients, much less to state governments that would have to implement such an initiative.

How it all works out is yet to be seen.

Cuts to food snaps and other programs like it typically face a tough fight and could be removed by the agriculture committees, who typically take up any changes to the program in the Farm Bill that is reauthorized every five years.

WMC reached out to several Mid-South Republicans for their input.

Critics of the proposal said distributing that much food presents a logistical nightmare.

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