Published: Wed, February 14, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Trump proposes to phase out food stamps

Trump proposes to phase out food stamps

The Trump administration's new proposal would replace the monthly cash benefits many American families depend on with a box of food.

"USDA 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 homegrown by American farmers and producers", he said. Mulvaney's proposal would replace that with "America's Harvest Box", a mailed package of "100 percent USA 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 cut comes at a time when public housing faces a $40 billion backlog of capital needs, said Diane Yentel, president and chief executive of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

President Donald Trump announced plans to make major cuts to SNAP benefits on Monday during his budget request for 2019.

The new proposal would slash government spending on the programme by $129bn over the next 10 years.

"The most efficient way to distribute those food stamp products is through the supermarkets that are already existed", said Joe Fasula, co-owner of Gerrity's Supermarkets.

Critics immediately began questioning the effectiveness of the new program, which is supposedly created to cut costs - but raises many logistical and practical concerns.

Meyer, who has studied food stamp policy for 20 years, says the idea could work if it was like Peapod, the food delivery service, bringing healthy food to people.

At the LA mission-they make 700 boxes of food a week for needy families. The administration wants states to focus on long-term employment for SNAP participants to get them off of the benefit.

"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. That represents more than 80 percent of the program's recipients.

Allergies and religious restrictions can be accommodated for, said the USDA spokesperson, although they did not respond to specific questions about whether people can choose items based on what they like to eat. The rest of their benefits would continue as now, loaded onto a debit-like card that can be used at any store that accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, payment. Food Bank officials don't think the SNAP Program deserves a dramatic change. The USDA's budget proposal says that the agency plans for 1.4 million fewer people to receive benefits in 2019.

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