The proposal, led by White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, is being compared to start-up meal delivery company Blue Apron, with low-income families receiving a product dubbed "America's Harvest Box" by the Department of Agriculture every month, according to a report from Fortune.
The USDA predicts that this change could save over $129 billion in ten years, and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue is hailing the plan as a "bold, innovative approach" that would save taxpayers money while delivering the same "level of food value".
That box would include staples like shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned fruits and meats, and cereal.
Though the proposal is already out of date as Congress struck a budget deal last week that Trump signed Friday, the document is being billed as the administration's message and vision for future spending.
Other advocates said that the food box proposal was more of a distraction from other cuts and changes in the proposed budgets, like support for additional work requirements that could make it harder for some people to be eligible for benefits.
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Knott also said that the program is created to help vulnerable populations like veterans returning from combat or seasonal workers who would lose benefits if they aren't working for several months.
"They have managed to propose almost the impossible, taking over $200 billion worth of food from low-income Americans while increasing bureaucracy and reducing choices", Berg says. A family of four eligible for SNAP must make no more than $31,980 per year, or less than 130 percent of the poverty line.
This and other changes in the SNAP program, according to the Trump administration, will reduce the SNAP budget by $213 billion over those years - cutting the program by nearly 30 percent. The problem is that 1.5 million vets get SNAP benefits. It recommends eliminating SNAP nutrition education programs, raising the age limit for SNAP recipients no longer required to work, and capping the benefit amount for large families of six or more.
Back in 2011, Donald Trump railed about a "food stamp crime wave" in his book "Time to Get Tough", arguing that benefits should be only temporary and that the Obama Administration had loosened the rules too much.
It's sure to be a sure money saver for the government as the box of food would be valued at about half the price of monthly food stamp benefits.
Allergies and religious restrictions can be accommodated for, said the USDA spokesperson, although they did not respond to specific questions about whether people can choose items based on what they like to eat. Even so, Weill says, "Whenever you see proposals like this that attack [SNAP] ... it harms the program even if it doesn't pass, in the long term reducing support for the program and stigmatizing people who use it".