People react to proposed food assistance changes

People react to proposed food assistance changes”

Commodity distribution would best be limited only to a small group of food-stamp recipients who have difficulty allocating their money for food and repeatedly end up hungry, according to the research group.

"Holy mackerel", said Kevin Concannon who oversaw the SNAP program in the Obama administration.

The proposed "harvest box" is an insult to low-income communities. Instead of fresh ingredients, it would be government-purchased, nonperishable food items such as shelf-stable milk, pasta, canned meat, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables.

Barrett, 34, who asked that she only be quoted by her last name, said she can not eat carbohydrates such as pasta, beans and rice.

"We have moved towards understanding what a healthy diet is and have come to understand the importance of fresh fruits and vegetables", Delavega said.

"I don't think it's fair".

I hope the pundits are correct when they say harvest boxes will never happen. He said despite having numerous hearings on SNAP, Monday's budget was the first time he'd heard of the food box proposal.

Stabenow is now working on the next Farm Bill as the ranking Democratic member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, and she says Trump's proposals, if taken seriously, would make it impossible to complete that work this year.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helped about 40 million Americans receive food and groceries in 2017, and majority are in it to help their families, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue called the box "a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families". The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the SNAP program, should take a step back and examine the objective and goals of the SNAP program and propose changes that show our government values the health and nutrition of all U.S. citizens.

But critics say there are all kinds of problems with the idea. One might be food waste, if the pre-selected items in the boxes are not desired and therefore not consumed.

Albert Okunade, a professor of economics at the University of Memphis, said the Trump Administration is attempting to reduce budget deficits and support US farmers by giving those on SNAP nutritional meals, and the USDA and many Republicans are for the proposal.

Okunade said the stigma around food stamps has been toned down with the use of EBT cards. "We don't intend to let one good idea distract us from proposing others", he said.

Irene Frechette, vice president of St. Vincent DePaul for New England, said the change sounds extremely costly since people would have to be hired to buy, sort and deliver the food.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that almost half of SNAP beneficiaries are children, meaning that one in four children in the USA receive food stamps.

It's an idea buried in the President's proposed budget and some Congress members from both parties have already declared it dead on arrival.

"This is outrageous", he tweeted. This would apply to food stamp recipients who are given more than $90 per month in benefits, which is 81 percent of SNAP households overall, and would make up half of their benefits.

"This is a cruel joke", he tweeted.

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