Published: Sat, February 17, 2018

Trump's budget sheds light on plans for welfare reform

Trump's budget sheds light on plans for welfare reform

The spokesperson added that the USDA "would set guidelines on the contents in America's Harvest Box" that states would follow, but would not elaborate on what specific guidelines the agency would distribute to state agencies handling SNAP.

"Anytime when there is a change to the snap program, at least initially, until people find out what their new normal is going to look like, we will see a surge in our food pantry", McCullen said.

According to information released by the USDA, it would work like this: Those who take part in SNAP and receive $90 a month or more in benefits would get a box filled with shelf-stable items, like soup or peanut butter.

Rather than kick people off food stamps, the Trump Administration is offering a plan to revamp the program. "It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants now receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers", Perdue said in a statement. Overall, the White House has proposed a $213 billion cut to SNAP.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the food delivery box idea internally and Office and Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said in a briefing Monday that Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue "wanted to give it a chance". If the cuts are approved, they would receive their food in "USDA Food Packages".

The proposal is included in the Trump administration budget request for fiscal year 2019.

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. "As the private partners with the government ensuring efficient redemption of SNAP benefits, retailers are looking to the administration to reduce red tape and regulations, not increase them with proposals such as this one". "They think a bureaucrat in better at picking out what your family needs than you are?"

"The main goal is to alleviate food insecurity, and the reason SNAP is so successful is because it gives low-income families the autonomy and dignity to make their own food choices", said Craig Gundersen, a professor in agricultural strategy at the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics at the University of IL at Urbana-Champaign. Food Bank officials don't think the SNAP Program deserves a dramatic change.

The proposal would affect 38 million people.

"SNAP is most successful government program we have today", said Craig Gundersun, a professor of agriculture and economics at the University of IL who has studied SNAP for the past twenty years. Almost two-thirds were under 18, over 60 or disabled, according to the USDA. Congress still has to approve the plan for it go into effect.

But a leaked draft bill, circulated in recent weeks and reviewed by The Associated Press, outlines what those changes could look like.

"When you get a job, that's not the end of the story, that's often where the story begins", said Heather Hahn, senior fellow in the Center for Labor, Human Services and Population at the Urban Institute.

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