Trump Proposes Replacing Food Stamps With Boxes Of Canned Foods

Trump Proposes Replacing Food Stamps With Boxes Of Canned Foods
This guy wants to make sure SNAP recipients eat healthy

Stop the presses – we’ve now found the worst idea of the day.

Just now coming to light as part of Donald Trump’s proposed budget is a proposal to cut food stamp recipient’s funds in half and replace that with boxes of canned meats and fruits as well as shelf-stable milk.

The administration says it will help ensure that people only eat healthy food like the guy at the top of this post.

Wait – it gets worse.

From Politico:

White House OMB Director Mick Mulvaney on Monday hailed the idea as one that kept up with the modern era, calling it a “Blue Apron-type program” — a nod to the high-end meal kit delivery company that had one of the worst stock debuts in 2017 and has struggled to hold onto customers. Mulvaney said the administration’s plan would not only save the government money, but also provide people with more nutritious food than they have now.

The proposal, buried in the White House’s fiscal 2019 budget, would replace about half of the money most families receive via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as food stamps, with what the Department of Agriculture is calling “America’s Harvest Box.” That package would be made up of “100 percent U.S. grown and produced food” and would include items like shelf-stable milk, peanut butter, canned fruits and meats, and cereal.

But America’s Harvest Box, which USDA contends would save over $129 billion over 10 years, is not very comparable to startup meal-delivery companies like Blue Apron. For one, the Trump administration’s proposal doesn’t include fresh items, like produce or meat, which are the core of Blue Apron and its competitors. Such products perish quickly and are incredibly expensive to ship.

A few obvious problems here. USDA spokesman Tim Murtaugh says that it would be left to states to decide how to deliver the “Harvest Boxes.” In other words, the government would pass the cost of delivering these boxes – many to rural areas – to the states. I’ll bet states are going to love that extra budgetary line item.

Also, the federal government has no logistical mechanism set up to do any of this. So, the federal bureaucracy conservatives hate would have to expand even more.

And, the impact on the grocery store industry – where food stamps purchases make up 7.5% of all sales – would be huge. According to reports, Walmart alone nabs 20% of food stamp sales.

You could guess that perhaps the administration is simply trying to make accepting food stamps as unattractive an option as possible.