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White House plan would change food SNAP benefits for low-income people

14 February 2018

Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said the newly proposed plan would resemble a "Blue Apron-type programme".

"We are going to have to find more sources of food and more funds we can raise to buy food to fill that gap", Akright said.

The proposal would change the supplemental nutrition assistance program.or SNAP.once known as food stamps.

Under the proposal, only a fraction of SNAP benefits delivered to households that now receive $90 or more per month would be delivered through the traditional retail-based Electronic Benefit Transfer card that allows recipients to buy approved foods from grocery retailers. However, the remaining benefits would be given to the recipients on electronic benefit cards, making it a possible win-win on both sides. It was unclear how the system would handle specialized diets or whether the government would deliver the same food to people with different needs.

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.

Trump officials told reporters on Monday that the reforms would affect approximately 16 million Americans who now participate in SNAP, or 81 percent of households in the program.

'It lowers the cost to us because we can buy prices at wholesale, whereas they have to buy it at retail.

"I don't know where this came from, but I suspect that the folks when they were drawing it up were also watching silent movies", Concannon said. "So we're pretty excited about that", Mulvaney said during the briefing Monday.

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The USDA estimates the program American Harvest Box would save $129 billion over a decade.

President Trump is looking to cut as much as $17.2 billion dollars from the Federal SNAP Program and replace its funding with a boxed food delivery program.

Representative Barbara Lee, who said she raised her children on food stamps, slammed the idea as "offensive".

The budget describes the program as a "cost-effective approach" that will "generate significant savings to taxpayers with no loss in food benefits to participants". Participating households - roughly 136,000 Iowans, and 16.4 million nationally - would see food assistance cut in half in favor of a Trump administration "harvest box", which includes no fresh foods.

Others, like the owner of Green Apple Market, say they accept government money for their goods, and fear a program change could be a big hit on his business.

The Trump Administration estimates that the government could deliver the food commodities to recipients' doorsteps similar to Amazon at half the present cost of using food retailers.

How they would distribute foods to people with specialized diets, or [to people in] rural areas ...

White House plan would change food SNAP benefits for low-income people