President Trump‘s new budget aim looks to permit severe restrict on the kinds of foods that food stamp recipients could purchase with government assistance.
Recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program currently receive a monthly supplement that offers help in buying food.
However Trump’s proposal would force people who receive at least $90 a month from the program to receive half of their benefits in the form of a “USDA food package,” rather than by buying the food themselves, NPR confirmed.
The proposed alteration could affect up to 80 percent of people enrolled in SNAP.
The food packages recipients would be permitted would not include fresh fruits or vegetables. Instead, according to NPR, the packages would mostly consist of “shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit and vegetables.”
The White House’s aim would be to reduce government spending on SNAP by $129 billion over the next 10 years. Combined with several other changes to the program, the changes would disintegrate SNAP’s budget by $213 billion over the same amount of time.
The plan has already come under heavy scrutiny by a number of groups, with critics declaring that the cuts would reduce help available to the poor. Opponents of the cuts also note that the physical delivery of the food could pose a difficult challenge for the government.
In a statement provided to The Hill, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue came to defense of the “bold, innovative approach” to feeding the nation’s hungry.
“It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants currently receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers,” Perdue said.
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