Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Trump's budget sheds light on plans for welfare reform

Trump's budget sheds light on plans for welfare reform

That's how Budget Director Mick Mulvaney described the Trump administration's proposal to replace almost half of poor Americans' monthly cash benefits with a box of food.

President Donald Trump wants to drastically scale back food stamps and replace them with a "food box" delivery program - like Blue Apron.

Approximately 16.4 million households, or about 81 percent of households on food stamps would be impacted by this proposal.

The new suggestion, written in the 2019 budget proposal, would take half of the money people get from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and instead send families a box of hand-picked, nonperishable items called "America's Harvest Box", reports Politico.

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. USDA spokesman Tim Murtaugh said that states would "have flexibility" in how they would distribute the food to SNAP recipients. The remainder of their benefits would be given to them on electronic benefit cards, as before.

The proposal would save almost $130 billion over 10 years, the White House said.

More news: Kalla wins, Bjoergen makes history at Winter Olympics

#TrumpBudget cuts for hungry families on #SNAP includes NO PLAN for delivering these so-called Harvest Boxes.

This budget - including this proposal - is morally unsound. So instead of giving families food stamps, Trump and his administration will seek to give food boxes. Jennifer Hatcher, the FMI's chief public policy officer, said that grocers, the USDA and Congress had worked for years to "achieve a national system, utilizing existing commercial infrastructure and technology to achieve the greatest efficiency, availability and lowest cost".

The program "will be administratively costly, inefficient, stigmatizing, and prone to failure", said Jim Weill, president of the Food Research and Action Center.

"We think it would require us to grow dramatically overnight to be able to respond to that increase in demand in ways that we think is unlikely for all food banks would be able to support", he said.

A proposal to overhaul how food stamps are distributed in America involves packaged food deliveries. The problem is that 1.5 million vets get SNAP benefits. Congressman Steve Cohen said the proposed changes to the SNAP program are both impractical and cruel.

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. The volunteers were busy, but say they're anxious about proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

Like this: