Trump budget would cut fresh fruits and vegetables from food stamp program

Possible changes coming to SNAP

White House proposing to change how millions of Americans eat

President Trumps administration plans to create a new program, dubbed America's Harvest Box, which would replace about half the money families receive through the SNAP program.

He compared the proposed delivery service, which the USDA is calling "America's Harvest Box", to "a Blue Apron-type program where you actually receive the food instead of [receiving] the cash".

The food box would contain American-produced "staple, shelf-stable foods", including shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables.

Millions of people nationwide depending on food stamps will see benefits slashed if Congress agrees to President Trump's current budget proposal.

The White House has proposed a cut to the food stamps program in favor of a packaged food delivery system.

According to White House calculations, the government would save roughly $129 billion over the course of 10 years, though it appears states would be responsible for having to ship and get the food boxes to the SNAP recipients.

Amazon began giving food stamp recipients a heavy discount on Amazon Prime memberships past year.

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Trump has encouraged Congress to codify the program legislatively, setting a March 5 deadline that a federal judge in California later blocked.

"It would reduce benefits and undercut the program's efficiency and effectiveness", she said".

"The budget presents a vision in which struggling families face more and more obstacles just to get by, weakening the very programs that provide stability and opportunity in our communities", Montana Food Bank Network CEO Gayle Carlson said in a statement Tuesday.

That savings requires a almost 30 percent budget cut to the SNAP program.

The Food Marketing Institute - which represents major grocery chains including Walmart and Kroger - joined the firing squad, saying that government-packed food boxes would be expensive and unravel an efficient program that had been refined over decades. According to Fox Business, the plan would provide almost 80 percent of active food stamp recipients [VIDEO] with boxes of food grown by American farmers instead of standard #SNAP aid.

"If (Iowans) are getting less in terms of SNAP, they are going to need more from our pantries and meal sites and our other partners", he said.

The Trump administration added that the federal government could pass the responsibility for making the program work to the states, effectively passing the cost and a logistical nightmare to statehouses, who would essentially have to figure out how to replicate what Amazon took years to establish. Currently, SNAP beneficiaries can buy what they want with all of their monthly benefits as long as it falls under the guidelines. Perdue said in early December that he wanted states to have more flexibility in doling out SNAP, announcing the agency wanted to hear about programs from states that don't increase the cost of the program and will combat what he said is fraud and waste. "We deal with different people of different backgrounds".

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