White House Proposes Food-In-A-Box For Some SNAP recipients

White House Proposes Food-In-A-Box For Some SNAP recipients

White House Office of Management & Budget head Mick Mulvaney called the proposal a "Blue Apron-type program", referencing the boxed-meal-kit company that lost $130 million in the second half of 2017.

President Trump's 2019 budget request would prevent food-stamp recipients from using the program to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, requiring them to receive a box of processed foods instead. It would affect households that receive at least $90 a month in food stamps, or roughly 38 million people.

The 2019 budget summary for the Department of Agriculture says that the government wants to cut $200 billion in benefits over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - commonly referred to as food stamps.

Instead of receiving all their food stamp funds, some households would get a box of food the government describes as nutritious and 100 percent grown and produced in the U.S. The SNAP boxes would contain peanut butter, shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, cereals, pasta, and canned beans and meat. "It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants now receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers", U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said in a statement. Since the boxes are valued at half of SNAP recipients monthly benefit, the remainder of their benefits would be put on electronic benefit cards, CNN Money reports. The proposed food program would cut SNAP benefits by $17 billion next year. The boxes would not include fresh fruits or vegetables. "It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants now receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers".

Other advocates said that the food box proposal was more of a distraction from other cuts and changes in the proposed budgets, like support for additional work requirements that could make it harder for some people to be eligible for benefits.

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He was surprised to learn about the food box proposal.

"What they're trying to do is demean these people", said U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-Atlanta, a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee who served with Perdue in the Georgia Senate in the 1990s.

Kyle Waide, the CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, vehemently disagreed with that assessment. "It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants now receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers", Perdue said in a statement.

The Trump administration proposal could shake up the country's largest program created to battle domestic hunger issues. It also makes sure they're getting nutritious food.

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.

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