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Trump to Cut Billions in Food Assistance

SNAP, the U.S. Food Stamps program, may soon be overhauled.

Mike Nelson, Staff Reporter

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The Trump administration is considering overhauling the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamps program. However, the new legislation would still have to be approved by Congress.

SNAP recipients would now get a “USDA Foods” package instead of money loaded onto an EBT card. According to the USDA, the package will include “shelf-stable milk, cereals, pastas, peanut butter, beans and canned fruits and vegetables”. The package will serves as a non-perishable food basket for low-income Americans who do not normally have access to fresh food.

USDA proposes that it will cut the cost of the SNAP program by $129 billion dollars over the next 10 years. According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, President Trump’s 2019 budget proposes to cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) by more than $213 billion over the next ten years; nearly a 30 percent cut.

Douglas Greenway, the President of the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program, which provides food for low-income families with children, is opposed to the proposed change:

“Removing choice from SNAP flies in the face of encouraging personal responsibility.”

There are also concerns that the new SNAP food package will have foods that some people will not know how to prepare. According to Miguelina Diaz from Hunger Free America: “We deal with different people of different backgrounds. Limiting them by providing them a staple box would limit the choices of food they can prepare for their families.”

Dr. Kathryn Hillstrom, an Associate Professor at the  School of Kinesiology and Nutritional Science at Cal State LA gave her opinion on the proposal:

“We need to expand the program, not limit it with silly boxed foods. As a mother, I should be able to decide which foods my family needs, not the U.S. government. President Trump’s suggestions will likely cost a lot more, and leave families with fewer options.”

The SNAP Program makes up 80 percent of the USDA’s budget with an annual cost of $70.9 billion. In 2016, 44 million people benefitted from the program each month. The majority of recipients are children, seniors and disabled people. The government is trying to save money, but it is unclear if it will pass in Congress.

“What I’d love to see is more money being suggested for farm boxes full of fresh and locally sourced fruits and vegetables.  Now that’s a plan most dietitians and advocates of SNAP would get behind,” said Hillstrom.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Trump to Cut Billions in Food Assistance”

  1. Nunya on February 28th, 2018 6:57 pm

    Rich jerks always screw the poor.

    [Reply]

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Trump to Cut Billions in Food Assistance