USDA proposes replacing food stamps with delivery service, increase work requirements

Casey Dawson
February 14, 2018

The administration wants to deliver some of those food benefits directly to households in "USDA Food packages". Each box would include frequently used items like shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned meats and fruits, and cereal.

Currently, SNAP beneficiaries get money loaded onto an EBT card they can use to buy what they want as long as it falls under the guidelines.

But Trump's proposal would require people who receive at least $90 a month from the program to get about half of their benefits in the form of a "USDA food package", rather than by purchasing the food themselves, NPR reported.

States will be given substantial flexibility to distribute these food benefits to participants.

Although the measure will reportedly save the federal government $129 billion over the next decade, there's a still a number of concerns surrounding the proposal.

A proposal to overhaul how food stamps are distributed in America involves packaged food deliveries. The proposal also says that all of the products will be grown or sources in the US and would represent a portion of that household's food stamps allotment.

What's in President Trump's $4.4tn budget for 2019? "It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants now receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers", Perdue said in a statement.

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"And we're concerned about how that budget might threaten or weaken a really important program that helps provide food for families, kids and seniors", said Atlanta Community Food Bank president Kyle Waide.

Mulvaney claimed that the change would allow the government to save almost $130 billion over 10 years, as it would lower government costs because it could buy the products at wholesale prices.

The agency estimates that 16.4 million households enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) -about 81 percent of SNAP enrollees-would be affected by this policy.

At the LA mission-they make 700 boxes of food a week for needy families.

The idea that the government could save money by distributing food itself, she said, is "ill-informed at best". That's in contrast to the current system, in which SNAP recipients can make subsidized grocery purchases of pre-approved items, which include pretty much anything in the fresh produce and meat sections.

Executive Director Joe Arthur says he wasn't expecting an immediate impact from that conversation, but the recent proposal of a 20 percent cut in benefits is disappointing. The White House also did not explain how SNAP recipients with food allergies or other dietary issues would be affected. The White House budget also calls for $58 billion in cuts to farm and insurance subsidies over 10 years.

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