Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Trump Funds Swaps Some Meals Stamp Cash For Containers of Meals

Read The White House’s Plans for SNAP Food Stamp Program USDA Eyeing Changes To Federal Food Benefit Program That Would Give States More Control | Harvest Public Media
Ellis Copeland | 14 February, 2018, 18:36

"There is no reason to move away from the way SNAP now works, which allows families to shop at their local grocery store and make their own food choices".

The Trump administration wants to replace food stamps for low-income Americans with boxes of non-perishable food items selected by the government. The rest of their benefits would be provided on electronic benefit cards as they are now.

With an annual cost of $70.9 billion, SNAP makes up about 80 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) budget.

Households that receive $90 or more in SNAP benefits would get a box of 100 percent USA -grown and produced food.

A Trump administration proposal to reduce food-stamp benefits is casting a cloud over USA dollar-store chains.

Having the government buy people's food would be less efficient than letting them buy it themselves, said Stacy Dean, a nutrition assistance expert at the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Back in 2011, Donald Trump railed about a "food stamp crime wave" in his book "Time to Get Tough", arguing that benefits should be only temporary and that the Obama Administration had loosened the rules too much. "So we're pretty excited about that", Mulvaney said during the briefing Monday.

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This proposal would save $129.2 billion over the ten-year period between Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 and FY 2028.

Trump's massive reshaping of SNAP would still need to be approved by Congress. Approximately 16.4 million households, or about 81 percent of SNAP households would be impacted by this proposal.

The plan to overhaul SNAP would save a projected $214 billion over a decade, according to the administration. But consumer watchdogs question whether such a program would actually save money and have further doubts about the government picking out food for millions of Americans. "It's just the change", said Shea. The USDA already buys commodities for other programs, such as the National School Lunch Program, and states would largely be in charge of distribution, the department said.

Individual states would have the freedom to decide how the food is delivered by using existing infrastructure, non-profit partnerships, or contracting commercial delivery services.

As Politico notes, other concerns with the proposal also included customization, such as if families will be able to change what comes in the box based on if someone has a nut allergy or doesn't eat certain meats for religious or personal reasons.

While I don't have a problem with eliminating some of the ridiculous things that are eligible for SNAP benefits like some energy drinks, soda or candy bars, but cutting out fresh fruits and vegetables crosses a line with me. The program is referred to as "USDA America's Harvest Box".

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