Food stamp recipients could see fresh food replaced with boxes

Shopping a new idea

Shopping a new idea

On Monday, the Trump Administration proposed changing SNAP benefits - the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for individuals and families.

Russian Federation already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump's desire for military parade: "We have a Napoleon in the making" MORE's new budget would severely restrict the kinds of foods that food stamp recipients could buy with the government assistance.

Office and Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney described the food package idea as a "Blue Apron-type program where you actually receive the food instead of receiving the cash".

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the Harvest Box program would keep "the same level of food value as SNAP participants now receive", mentions the states' flexibility and also says it's "responsible to the taxpayers".

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According to the USDA, the items in the box will include items like long-life milk, juice, grains, cereal, pasta, beans, peanut butter, canned fruit and vegetables, and canned meat or fish.

If this plan is approved as part of the president's budget, it would have a significant impact in the Buckeye State.

President Trump's federal budget proposal includes massive cuts to the program that provides food assistance for low income families.

Amazon began giving food stamp recipients a heavy discount on Amazon Prime memberships a year ago.

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Gruber says nothing about this proposal is efficient although that is what it claims the cuts will achieve. Instead of a debit card style system the President wants to deliver food boxes to recipients similar to commercial services like blue apron. The government paid more than $68 billion to provide benefits of an average of $125.79 per month for each person. USDA would likely not change that requirement but could grant states waivers to impose stricter requirements at the state level.

It's sure to be a sure money saver for the government as the box of food would be valued at about half the price of monthly food stamp benefits.

Nutrition programs, including SNAP, made up about 80 percent of the USDA's budget in the most recent farm bill, making it the largest portion of agency spending. The White House also did not explain how SNAP recipients with food allergies or other dietary issues would be affected.

Others, like the owner of Green Apple Market, say they accept government money for their goods, and fear a program change could be a big hit on his business. Even so, Weill says, "Whenever you see proposals like this that attack [SNAP] ... it harms the program even if it doesn't pass, in the long term reducing support for the program and stigmatizing people who use it".

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