Trump administration wants to cut food stamps, replace with at-home food delivery

Violet Powell
February 14, 2018

Under the plan, more than 16 million households would have half of their benefits go toward the food box delivery program.

The box would be worth approximately half of a SNAP recipient's monthly benefit.

President Donald Trump used his budget Monday to propose sending boxes of groceries - milk, vegetables, cereal, pasta - to food stamp recipients. It would require approval from Congress.

The remainder would still be provided through the current Electronic Benefit Transfer card.

The administration says the move is a "cost-effective approach" with "no loss in food benefits to participants". The proposal was created with an economic focus, with an aim of saving the country billions.

Cuts to food snaps and other programs like it typically face a tough fight and could be removed by the agriculture committees, who typically take up any changes to the program in the Farm Bill that is reauthorized every five years.

The plan isn't sitting well with local food bank officials.

Meyer also says that he thinks this might be a way for "food businesses that have excess food that they're unable to get it off their warehouse shelves". The Trump administration's proposal, he said, "is a far more intrusive, Big Government answer".

"With Blue Apron, you get to pick your meals and decide when they come".

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Douglas Greenaway, president of the National WIC Association, echoed that sentiment.

"It seems like a harebrained scheme", said Calvert.

With an annual cost of $70.9 billion, SNAP makes up about 80 percent of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) budget. One said he was still reading over the proposal before commenting.

If you receive money from food stamps, a proposal from the government would switch part of that benefit from dollars to non-perishable food.

If this plan is approved as part of the president's budget, it would have a significant impact in the Buckeye State.

"It's a really shortsighted attempt to save money", Ferguson said. "States will have substantial flexibility in designing the food box delivery system through existing infrastructure, partnerships, or commercial/retail delivery services". Tippins is concerned the need for food could grow if the types of food given to families by the government are not what they need. "We deal with different people of different backgrounds". But states would be given the ultimate discretion on how to distribute the food boxes.

"Often considered the backbone of their community, America's independent supermarket operators have always been indispensable partners in the SNAP food delivery system, serving millions of low-income households, including families with children, the elderly, and disabled", noted Greg Ferrara, EVP of advocacy, public relations, and member services at the Arlington-based National Grocers Association (NGA).

Congress largely ignored Trump's proposed budget for SNAP previous year, when he wanted to cut the funding by a quarter.

"We shared with Secretary Perdue that even a ten percent cut-which was threatened in the last Farm Bill in 2014-would cause demand to nearly double for our food bank", Arthur said.

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