On Monday, the Trump administration proposed cutting food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, by $17 billion in 2019 and more than $213 billion over the next decade.
A Trump administration proposal to reduce food-stamp benefits is casting a cloud over US dollar-store chains. The change would provide half of their SNAP benefits in the box that will contain shelf-stable milk, ready-to-eat cereal and other pantry staples like pasta, peanut butter and cans of vegetables and fruit.
Currently, SNAP recipients get all of their benefits loaded onto a shopping card they can use at local stores, so long as they follow certain guidelines.
A proposal made in President Donald Trump's budget would eliminate half the benefits that food stamp recipients receive, implementing in place of those funds a program that would instead deliver food in pre-packaged boxes to the nation's poor. The food would be ordered by the government and delivered directly to participating consumers.
Under the proposal, SNAP recipients would begin to receive some of their benefits in the form of a package with groceries inside.
Currently, SNAP gives 42 million Americans a food voucher averaging $125 per person that can be redeemed for nearly any food product in a grocery store.
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Porter resigned from his role at the White House shortly after and has called the allegations "outrageous" and "simply false". The White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders affirmed this was the official position of the administration in October 2017.
The box of food is being called "America's Harvest Box" by the Agriculture Department, the Washington Post reported.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in early December that he wanted states to have more flexibility in doling out SNAP, announcing the agency wanted to hear about programs from states that don't increase the cost of the program and will combat what he said is fraud and waste.
The proposal is also likely to enrage food retailers - particularly Walmart, Target and Aldi - who stand to lose billions if food stamp benefits are cut, analysts say. The change would affect approximately 38 million people, according to CNN.
Others, like the owner of Green Apple Market, say they accept government money for their goods, and fear a program change could be a big hit on his business. 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.
The president's budget still needs to be approved by Congress.
The food box also faces an uncertain political future as the Republican chairmen of the House and Senate agriculture committees signaled their skepticism.