Some Questions About Trump’s New SNAP Proposal

The Trump administration’s fiscal 2019 budget proposal includes a “bold new approach” to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides assistance to low-paid working families, low-income seniors and people with disabilities with food shopping.

According to the plan, those who receive at least $ 90 a month through SNAP (the vast majority of recipients) will receive about half of their benefits in the form of a “USDA Food Package,” which will include “items such as shelf-stable milk. , ready-to-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruits, vegetables and meat, poultry or fish “(in other words, no fresh food) . Overall, the budget proposes a $ 213 billion reduction in the program over ten years.

SNAP helps 40 million people, about 70 percent of whom live in families with children, according to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities . More than 25 percent of participants live in families with elderly people or people with disabilities. SNAP recipients currently receive a downloaded EBT debit card that they can spend at grocery stores and other official retail stores. Recipients cannot purchase alcohol, cigarettes, vitamin supplements, hot food, or non-food household items (such as toilet paper or diapers) with money.

The administration writes that this is a “cost-effective approach,” but it’s easy to see how it can be a disaster for people with any type of food allergy, and for people who don’t have a home or address to get their boxes from – and how. may increase costs considering all associated packaging and shipping costs.

On Twitter, Annie Lowry, economic policy commentator for The Atlantic, asks some very good questions that the administration doesn’t seem to fully address. For example, what happens if there is a blizzard or hurricane? More fundamentally, “do poor people deserve the right to choose their food?”

This is a good topic to consider in its entirety.

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