The packages recipients would be given would not include fresh fruits or vegetables.
Low-income Americans who get at least $90 a month from SNAP, would get about half their benefits in the form of a "USDA Foods Package". Is this the best way to balance our budget? "I think the administration needs to provide a lot more evidence and justification for the food-box proposal to be accepted by Congress". In his first budget proposal, Trump wanted to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from food stamps, using work requirements and other eligibility rules to restrict many from being able to use the program.
The food bank helps feed about 200,000 people across the Mid-South who are food insecure, which means they do not know when they'll eat again.
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According to Akright, the Food Bank of Iowa already distributes 1 million pounds of food per month.
Food stamps, technically called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), face a $17 billion cut in 2019 alone, and stand to lose $213 billion over the next 10 years.
"It is going to affect us, it is going to hurt us", said Owner Al Malabeh. The plan is said to save the government money and provide families with more nutritious options than what the food stamps now provide.
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According to the US Department of Agriculture, the amount of food in the Harvest Boxes would account for about half of their benefits - representing a drastic cut in the amount now spent by recipients at participating retailers. The administration wants states to focus on long-term employment for SNAP participants to get them off of the benefit.
Stacy Dean, vice president for food assistance policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, told CNN: "It's a risky scheme that threatens families' ability to put food on the table". According to NBC polling, 70 percent of Trump voters did not have a college degree and more than 35 percent had household incomes of $50K or less.
The proposal is particularly puzzling given this administration's propensity to oppose food programs that supposedly force individuals to have to make certain food choices. Plus, it could be hard for families to pick up the box, especially if they don't have a auto.
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Nevertheless, Akright said he worries that cuts to food stamps will negate the food bank's expansion.