“USDA Food Box” proposed to cut abuse of SNAP

Food bank box containing shelf-stable products.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump administration’s 2019 budget proposal seeks to stop the abuse of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture outline, President’s Trump budget includes proposals to reform SNAP that combines the traditional EBT cards with a “USDA Food Box” containing 100 percent American-grown products.

The USDA said the food boxes would reduce waste, fraud and abuse. It would also limit opportunities for the benefits to be misused or sold off and trafficked illegally.

“This expands on previous proposals to strengthen expectations for work among able-bodied adults that will lead to self-sufficiency, reserves benefits for those most in need, promotes efficiency in state operations, and improves program integrity,” The USDA wrote in part.

KCRA reports the food boxes will be valued at half of the SNAP participant’s monthly benefits. The rest of the benefits would be on an EBT card.

The boxes would contain shelf-stable items like canned meat, pasta, juice, pasta, canned fruits and canned vegetables.

The USDA anticipates food boxes could save an estimated $129.2 billion over ten years. Nutritional assistance will likely make up 71% of the USDA’s budget in 2019. $73.2 billion of that percentage is for SNAP benefits.

In 2019, the USDA estimates about 40.8 million SNAP participants.

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