SNAP program would be replaced with meal kits, according to Trump proposal

Possible changes coming to SNAP

The proposal was touted by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney and included in the White House fiscal budget, released Monday. "You actually receive the food instead of receive the cash".

The box would be worth approximately half of a SNAP recipient's monthly benefit.

Currently, food stamps - known officially as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - are provided for some 42 million people, 80 percent of whom get food vouchers each month worth at least $90 per person. The rest of their benefits would be provided on electronic benefit cards as they are now.

According to the USDA summary, states would have "substantial flexibility" to distribute the food boxes and could use commercial delivery services.

According to the budget, the package will feature "100 percent US grown and produced food", with non-perishable items like peanut butter, canned fruits and cereal.

"People do misuse their food stamps or they blow it all on junk food", said current food stamp recipient, Douglas Powers.

"It is a good idea to control the abuse- it's a good idea to give nutrition to people if they can manage it well", said Malabeh.

Some food policy advocates questioned whether the Trump administration's proposal would save the government money if the government were in charge of handling distribution, and expressed concern over how much choice SNAP recipients would have in what types of food they would receive. The administration says it "combines traditional SNAP benefits with nutritious and 100-percent American-grown food provided directly to households". "So we're pretty excited about that".

Though they are considering changes to food stamps, members of Congress will nearly certainly ignore the Trump administration's beans-and-rice scheme when they begin the legislative process of reauthorizing SNAP this year.

"It would impact our store in particular...sales-wise, especially on those food stamp days", said Dorsch.

In a statement provided to The Hill, Agriculture Secretary Sonny PerdueGeorge (Sonny) Ervin PerdueThe Hill's 12:30 Report Agriculture chief Sonny Perdue is "designated survivor" for Trump's State of the Union Live coverage: Trump delivers his first State of the Union MORE defended the "bold, innovative approach" to feeding the nation's hungry.

Families who would get the box of food would be ones who now get at least $90 a month.

SNAP is an efficient program; as the Administration noted, its integrity should be protected.

The White House is making the case that thedelivery service would save taxpayers about $129 billion over 10 years.

Knott also said that the program is created to help vulnerable populations like veterans returning from combat or seasonal workers who would lose benefits if they aren't working for several months. This estimate accounts for about $2.5 billion annually in additional administrative funds for states. "I think the idea that we seem to be in this proposal going back to the days of government cheese", Gray said.

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