Local advocate weighs in on president's proposal to change SNAP

Workers at a food bank

Workers at a food bank

- The Trump administration wants to replace food stamps to low-income families with government-mandated harvest boxes of food. "The goal of all these programs; SNAP, TEFAP, WIC, and the food pantries is to build people up when they're in a vulnerable state". The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) now has strict restrictions on what can be purchased with these benefits.

The deliveries of government-purchased foods would account for roughly half of the benefits for the vast majority of SNAP households. A spokesperson with the organization tells KGUN9 SNAP is the very program that so many families in Southern Arizona count on for food to get them through a hard time, and to help stretch food budgets until a payday. About 44 million people participated in SNAP each month in 2016, at an annual cost of $70.9 billion.

According to the USDA, about 16.4 million American households, or 81 percent in the SNAP program, would receive a box. White House budget director Mick Mulvaney compared the package program to meal-delivery companies like Blue Apron.

It would be called "America's Harvest Box" and include food that doesn't go bad fast like peanut butter, pasta and canned fruits.

The Trump administration has made its stance clear on public assistance and welfare programs: If you're able-bodied and want benefits, you have to work. It lowers the cost to us because we can buy prices at wholesale, whereas they have to buy it at retail. "Limiting them by providing them a staple box would limit the choices of food they can prepare for their families". "So we're pretty excited about that".

This and other changes in the SNAP program, according to the Trump administration, will reduce the SNAP budget by $213 billion over those years - cutting the program by nearly 30 percent. She also thinks it's disrespectful to those who need it the most.

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"First of all, "Blue Apron" comes with fresh produce; I believe", Tyson said.

"I recognize the Administration was trying to think outside the box when they put the SNAP program in a box", said Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, an assistant professor at NC State, "but the logistical and financial implications of this new model are ambiguous and questionable".

"This sounds like something from the Great Depression, not 2018", Democratic Representative Jim McGovern tweeted.

While talking to reporters on Monday, Mulvaney said that he was not interested in the theft of someone else's copyright and that the food stamp recipients in the U.S. would be receiving actual food instead of cash. "As a single mother who relied on food stamps to help feed my boys, I can't overstate how offensive this proposal is", Lee's tweet read.

Other social media users proceeded to mercilessly drag Trump's new proposal with a slew of memes, taunts and comments.

"The reality is, low-wage work is increasingly unstable and unpredictable, and doesn't allow people to support their families without the help of supports like Medicaid and SNAP". "Trump is a f**king moron who doesn't care about the health & well-being of families if it makes him money". "I can guarantee they don't send canned meat & boxed cereal".

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