Trump Offers Unique Food Stamp Proposal to Save Money, Help US Producers

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The Trump administration rolled out a new proposal on Monday to replace a portion of food stamp recipients’ benefits with a direct shipment of food.

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney likened it to the meal kit company Blue Apron, which delivers food directly to the homes of those enrolled in the program.

“I don’t want to steal somebody’s copyright,” Mulvaney told reporters Monday. “You actually receive the food instead of receive the cash.”

“It lowers the cost to us because we can buy prices at wholesale, whereas (beneficiaries) have to buy it at retail,” he added. “It also makes sure they’re getting nutritious food. So we’re pretty excited about that.”

Currently, those enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receive money in the form of an ATM-like card, which they can use to buy approved food items at certain retailers.

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The proposed America’s Harvest Box program would not eliminate that system, but reduce the amount of money enrollees receive by half in lieu of the food shipments.

The boxes would include items like shelf-stable milk, juice, pasta, cereal, peanut butter, canned meat and canned fruit and vegetables.

SNAP recipients could then use their cash benefits (EBT cards) to purchase perishable or other food items they want.

The Department of Agriculture estimates the new program would save $129 billion over a ten year period.

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The Washington Examiner reported that the government spent $64 billion in SNAP benefits in 2017.

“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 homegrown by American farmers and producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue 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.”

Multiple news outlets — including Politico, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek — ran misleading headlines representing that the Trump administration wanted to completely replace cash payments with food shipments.

Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, characterized the proposal as “a risky scheme that threatens families’ ability to put food on the table.”

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The White House argued that the government already provides direct food aid to many households through programs such as free and reduced-price school lunches and a food delivery program for senior citizens. Further, the program gives the states great latitude in how they distribute the food, including using other existing partnerships or commercial delivery services, CNBC reported.

Due to the improving economy, the number of people enrolled in the food stamp program dropped by 2 million during Trump’s first year in office to approximately 42 million people.

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 1,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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