Food stamps proposal would partially replace EBT credit with boxes of food

Food stamps proposal would partially replace EBT credit with boxes of food

In an effort to reform the nation's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the White House is suggesting that low-income families receive an "America's Harvest Box" of nonperishable foods each month to replace about half of the money they now receive through food stamps.

President Donald Trump's administration wants to replace half of SNAP recipients' monthly cash benefits with a box of food. Under the plan, more than 16 million households would have half of their benefits go toward the food box delivery program.

According to the budget, the package will feature "100 percent USA grown and produced food", with non-perishable items like peanut butter, canned fruits and cereal.

"Peanut butter is a shelf-stable, protein-packed food that the majority of Americans enjoy, so it seems only fitting to include as a product in the potential harvest box", the group said in a statement, noting that it already donates peanut products to food banks.

He added: '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'. The remainder of their benefits would be given to them on electronic benefit cards, as before.

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

This budget - including this proposal - is morally unsound. "It lowers the cost to us because we can buy [at wholesale prices] whereas they have to buy it at retail".

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Gruber says the idea of this box of food is wrong even beyond just having the right to choose what you eat.

Attempting to trumpet in the administration's program, Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Agriculture Secretary, called the new proposal a "bold, innovative approach", while announcing that food from the program would be produced in the United States.

The New Hanover County Department of Social Services said it is aware of the proposal and is looking to the state for guidance about what this change could mean for people locally. "Perhaps this proposal would save money in one account, but based on our decades of experience in the program, it would increase costs in other areas that would negate any savings".

The proposal is also likely to enrage food retailers - particularly Walmart, Target and Aldi - who stand to lose billions if food stamp benefits are cut, analysts say.

Knott also said that the program is created to help vulnerable populations like veterans returning from combat or seasonal workers who would lose benefits if they aren't working for several months.

"So if this starts to be phased out that's going to put a greater strain on our resources, because when people can't get those benefits, they are going to come to our partner agencies because people still have to get their nutrition", Wells said.

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