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- President Donald Trump released his fiscal year 2019 budget proposal on Monday.
- Included in the budget is a proposed overhaul to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), typically referred to as food stamps.
- Under the proposal, SNAP recipients would begin to receive some of their benefits in the form of a package with groceries inside.
President Donald Trump’s new fiscal year 2019 budget includes a radical proposed change to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, typically referred to as food stamps, that would see part of the program turn into a meal-delivery service.
As part of the budget, the Department of Agriculture – which runs the SNAP program – would send basic food items to households receiving more than $90 a month in SNAP assistance in boxes.
“Under the proposal, households receiving $90 or more per month in SNAP benefits will receive a portion of their benefits in the form of a USDA Foods package, which would include items such as shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish,” the budget reads.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the program would send food boxes to 16.4 million households, representing 81% of SNAP households. The boxes would account for half of the benefits for the household and the rest would be put on their Electronic Benefit Transfer card.
It is unclear whether the boxes would contain ingredients to be cooked, like meal-delivery kits from companies like Blue Apron or HelloFresh, or contain fully cooked foods. According to the proposal states would be allowed to determine the method of delivery “through existing infrastructure, partnerships, and/or directly to residences through commercial and/or retail delivery services.”
According the Department of Agriculture, the program would save $129.2 billion from the SNAP program compared to the current baseline over the next 10 years.
The budget says that the USDA Foods package will ensure that all food is sourced in the US and sets a standard nutritional value for recipients.
“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 home grown by American farmers and producers,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement. “It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants currently receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers.”
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