Uncle Sam may be radically changing the federal government’s SNAP program.
The Trump Administration is proposing to slash the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and replace it with America’s Harvest Box, a pre-packaged container of food delivered directly to recipients’ front doors, controlling what 16 million low-income households eat. The current SNAP program allows recipients to use their benefits at their discretion at any approved food retailer.
The motion would affect those who receive at least $90 a month in SNAP- which includes the vast majority of recipients, as half of their benefits would be received in the form of a “USDA Foods package.”
Comparing the new proposal to Blue Apron, an American ingredient-and-recipe meal kit service, founded in 2012, the delivered food boxes would include “shelf-stable” items such as juice, pasta, ready to eat cereal, canned meat, pasta, peanut butter and beans. No fresh fruits or vegetables would be included. It isn’t clear how the boxes would be delivered or if they would include cooking directions.
According to CNBC, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney called the idea “innovative” on Monday:
“I don’t want to steal somebody’s copyright. You actually receive the food instead of receive the cash.”
Cutting the program by 30%, the new plan would reduce the overall cost of the SNAP program by $129 billion over the next 10 years.
The proposal is included in the Trump administration budget request for 2019 and would require approval from Congress.