Sonny Perdue proposes swap of 'harvest box' for some food stamps

Feb 14, 2018, 18:48
Sonny Perdue proposes swap of 'harvest box' for some food stamps

As part of President Trump's budget proposal, his administration is proposing a plan to scale back food stamps and replace them with a food-box delivery program like Blue Apron.

Under the current Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), low-income recipients can spend their benefits on certain grocery items, including nearly anything in the fresh produce and meat sections. The SNAP boxes would contain peanut butter, shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, cereals, pasta, and canned beans and meat.

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 remaining benefits would be issued via the traditional benefits card.

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"You actually receive the food instead of receiving the cash", White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said in a press conference.

#TrumpBudget cuts for hungry families on #SNAP includes NO PLAN for delivering these so-called Harvest Boxes. "The dramatic reductions came as part of a budget proposal that made sweeping, across-the-board cuts to popular safety net programs, including federal housing subsidies and Medicaid". It lowers the cost to us because we can buy prices at wholesale, whereas they have to buy it at retail.

The USDA predicts that this change could save over $129 billion in ten years, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is hailing the plan as a "bold, innovative approach" that would save taxpayers money while delivering the same "level of food value".

"This action would not only destabilize attempts to bring more healthy, fresh foods into the homes of America's food insecure, but would keep dollars out of local grocery stores and farmers markets, which are critical assets to all communities", said Jordan Rasmussen, a policy associate at the progressive Center for Rural Affairs. It's called "America's Harvest Box". The volunteers were busy, but say they're anxious about proposed cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.

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In a nutshell, the program would reduce government over-spending and mismanagement while ensuring people used the funds for their "Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program" for foods that would truly supplement nutrition. "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".

"Typically like other governess programs they don't cover all of the costs, so we'd end up having to do more fundraising to cover this government program", said Miller.

Critics say allegations of fraud are overblown - the current trafficking rate is roughly 1 percent, and more than half of participants are kids, elderly and disabled people who need the help.

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