Proposal to replace SNAP with food delivery program causes concern


I can choose what kind of food I want to eat, be it gluten-free or vegetarian or paleo.

Major changes to the Federal Food Stamp Program could be coming in 2019, according to President Trump's proposed budget.

For households receiving more than $90 per month in benefits (that's 81% of SNAP households overall), half of those benefits would come in the form of these government-provided boxes. The food-stamp program served 42.2 million people during the 2017 fiscal year, with many spending the benefits at supermarkets. Mulvaney's proposal would replace that with "America's Harvest Box", a mailed package of "100 percent US grown and produced food", with an emphasis on preserved items such as shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned meats and fruit and cereal, Politico reports. The change would affect approximately 38 million people, according to CNN.

She said the proposal, if enacted, "would be devastating for the one-in-eight Americans who use SNAP to put food on the table every day".

"I think it's going to be damaging", says Sandra Frank, CEO of All Faiths Food Bank. "So we're pretty excited about that", Mulvaney said during the briefing Monday.

The budget expanded on the administration's "previous proposals to strengthen expectations for work among able-bodied adults, preserve benefits for those most in need, promote efficiency in State operations, and improve program integrity".

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

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"America's Harvest Box is a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families - and all of it is home grown by American farmers and producers".

"A strategy of a box of food takes us back 30 years".

"The a classic example is that we don't want to pre box a share of food and give it to folks who have peanut allergies and assume they want peanut butter".

Blue Apron and other meal kit delivery services provide something that this Harvest Box doesn't seem to offer: choice.

Opponents to the president's plan believe canned and boxed food is not as healthy as fresh food that can be purchased with food stamps at grocery stores.

Actually, it's the United States' tax burden that is keeping dollars out of local grocery stores and small businesses to support bloated and wasteful government programs like SNAP.

Florida is third - behind California (No. 1) and Texas - in the nation for use of food stamps in 2016, having redeemed $5.1 billion in food stamps that year.