President Trump’s new budget proposal includes major cuts to the food stamp program, (also known as SNAP). The president wants to cut the amount of money food stamps recipients get on a monthly basis and replace that with what the administration is calling a “USDA America’s Harvest Box”. The harvest box will be delivered on a monthly basis to food stamps recipients and will contain U.S.-grown commodities like meat, poultry, milk, peanut butter, cereal, and CANNED fruits and vegetables. This is essentially ready-to-eat meal kits.
Here is how the plan will work: Anyone receiving $90 or more a month (which is over 80 percent of all SNAP recipients) in food stamps benefits will get half of their monthly food stamps money in form of the Harvest Box, rather than cash to buy their own food as it’s currently set up. This completely takes away a food stamp recipient’s ability to buy their own food or decide what food they want to buy. Instead, the government will send you a package of food they think is nutritious that you should be eating.
Currently, food stamps recipients get money loaded onto an EBT card and they can use it buy what they want as long as they buy food that is on the approved food stamps list. This program will completely change that. This is part of an effort by the Trump administration to slash the budget for the food stamps program. The administration says by delivering harvest boxes to food stamps recipients, they will save $129 billion over the next 10 years. The administration’s overall goal is to reduce the SNAP budget by $213 billion over those years, which will cut the program by almost 30 percent.
There are currently about 44 million people on food stamps, which cost the government $70.9 billion in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of the people on food stamps were under 18, over 60 or disabled, according to the USDA. The average person receives $125.79 a month, or $4.20 a day.
Are you currently receiving food stamps? What are your thoughts on Trump’s idea to cut food stamps and replace that with the government mailed harvest box? What do you think about the fact that the harvest box contains canned fruits and vegetables, versus your current ability to buy fresh produce at the grocery store?