By: Ashtun Welling
February 12, President Donald Trump made an announcement that could potentially affect 38 million Americans. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as Food Stamps, may be coming to an end. Instead, Trump has proposed the Harvest box.
For those who qualify, SNAP in the past has loaded the cash on a card. About half of their benefits would go towards a food box. Then the rest would be loaded on a card. The box would contain shelf-life items such as peanut butter, milk, juice, grains, cereals, pasta, beans and canned meat, fruits, and vegetables, according to the USDA.
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney wants to create a “Blue-Apron” program instead called Harvest Box. Supports of this program are comparing it to food delivery services that are on the rise. The Harvest Box would contain locally grown vegetables from American farmers. However, recipients do not get a choice in what comes in the box; the government would make the purchases.
The government has left a lot of unanswered questions in this proposal. A lot of American citizens have food allergies or restrictions in their diet, the administration has made it unclear how these situations will be handled. The box would contain the needed nutritional value for these families. It is still unclear on how the distributions of the food boxes will be handled. The idea is that these individuals would either have the box delivered to them or they would have to pick up the box.
This budget plan could possibly save the government 130 billion dollars in the next 10 years. Also, it could cut back on fraud. The SNAP program makes up about 80 percent of the USDA’s national budget, making it the largest portion of the agency’s spending. In 2016 the program cost the nation nearly over 71 billion dollars.