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Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:37 PM

Trump's Harvest Box Isn' Viable in SNAP Overhaul, Officials Say

(Trump’s ‘Harvest Box’ Isn’t Viable in SNAP Overhaul, Officials Say


People paid for fresh produce using federal assistance at a farmers market in Lake Orion, Mich., in 2013. Credit Lauren Abdel-Razzaq/The Detroit News, via Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers about 46 million low-income Americans both sustenance and economic choice by providing an allowance to buy the fruit, meat, fresh vegetables, soda, ice cream and kind of bread they want to eat. But on Monday, the Trump administration sprung a surprise: Under a proposal in the president’s budget many participants in the program would be given half their benefits in the form of a “Harvest Box” full of food preselected for nutritional value and economic benefit to American farmers. The cache of cheaper peanut butter, canned goods, pasta, cereal, “shelf stable” milk and other products would now be selected by the federal government, not by the people actually eating it. The proposal seemed like a radical overhaul of the country’s core food assistance program — once called food stamps but now commonly known as SNAP. The idea was to shave about $21 billion a year from the federal deficit over the next 10 years. But the reaction was immediate, and largely negative.

Democrats claimed the plan shackled the poor while business groups, led by big food retailers, would stand to lose billions of dollars in lost SNAP business. The head of one trade association typically supportive of President Trump’s economic policies accused the administration of reneging on its pledge to cut “red tape and regulations.”

In reality, administration officials on Tuesday admitted that the food-box plan — which the president’s budget director Mick Mulvaney compared to the Blue Apron grocery delivery service — had virtually no chance of being implemented anytime soon. Instead, the idea, according to two administration officials who worked on the proposal, was a political gambit by fiscal hawks in the administration aimed at outraging liberals and stirring up members of the president’s own party working on the latest version of the farm bill. The move, they said, was intended to lay down a marker that the administration is serious about pressing for about $85 billion in other cuts to food assistance programs that will be achieved, in part, by imposing strict new work requirements on recipients.

“I don’t think there’s really any support for their box plan. And, I worry that it’s a distraction from the budget’s proposal to cut SNAP by some 30 percent. That’s the real battle,” said Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a progressive Washington think tank. “The dangers are these other proposals to cut benefits. But all anyone is talking about today are the boxes.”

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Reply Trump's Harvest Box Isn' Viable in SNAP Overhaul, Officials Say (Original post)
niyad Feb 2018 OP
Gothmog Feb 2018 #1
niyad Feb 2018 #2
deminks Feb 2018 #3
niyad Feb 2018 #4

Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:38 PM

1. This plan is stupid and is designed to make fox news viewers happy

Fox news viewers are inherently idiots and really hate poor people

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Response to Gothmog (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:43 PM

2. they are indeed. have already expressed my views to the idiot "representing" this district.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:48 PM

3. A no win from the start.

Completely unhealthy
Everyone has a right to choose their food
No fresh food provided.
Logistic nightmare for delivery - more govt contracts and fat cats making money off delivery
Economic disaster for food industry, some businesses rely on Snap funds.

Republicans sit on their rich fat asses all day long thinking about ways to be cruel to people. Even their own people.

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Response to deminks (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 14, 2018, 12:53 PM

4. if you have not seen this excellent OP yet:

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