President Donald suggested a “food box“ system in the mode of online meal kit service Blue Apron. On Monday, director of the Office of Managament and Budget, Mich Mulvaney, presented the plan by the U.S. Department Of Agriculture as an “outside the box“ method to feed poverty-stricken beneficiaries of Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, or SNAP. Over 16 million households On SNAP are likely to have half their benefitis go to “America’s Harvest Box.”
Taking their cue from successful private companies like Blue Apron, Mulvaney told reporters, “What we do is propose that, for folks who are on food stamps — part, not all — part of their benefits come in the actual sort of — and I don’t want to steal somebody’s copyright — but a Blue Apron-type program where you actually receive the food instead of receive the cash.”
Blue Apron is a service that provides weekly kits with ingredients and recipes to allow its customers to cook different meals for themselves at home. In the New York area, a family of four can have three meals a week for about $140 with Blue Apron. Those meals include options involving everything from salmon with spiced vegetables, to beef medallions paired with scallion salsa verde.
Top Box Foods out of Chicago runs a similar service providing reasonably-priced, healthy groceries in preselected boxes. Top Box boasts on their website that they even accept SNAP benefits.
Under the current government system food stamp recipients use a payment card similar to a credit card for their food. The USDA guidelines assure the tax payers alcohol, tobacco, and household items are not permitted to be paid for with the provided card.
Trump’s proposal may be a new way to feed the country’s under-privileged while side-stepping fraud and saving tax payer money. The plan in the proposal would feed needy people while saving $17.2 billion in 2019, slashing the current programs budget by 22% of last year’s costs.
According to agriculture secretary Sonny Perdue the innovative plan would be boxing food grown by American farmers and producers.
“It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants currently receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers.”
Of the savings on the average taxpayer, Mulvaney said: “It lowers the cost to us because we can buy prices at wholesale, whereas they have to buy it at retail,” he continued, “It also makes sure that they’re getting nutritious food. So we’re pretty excited about that. That’s a tremendous cost savings.”
Outraged Democrat Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts called the new program “a cruel joke.”
On Twitter he said, “This sounds like something from the Great Depression, not 2018.”
During the Obama Administration, first lady Michelle Obama made healthy eating her pet project. The new Harvest Box program may have found a functional way for even the poorest Americans to eat healthier, even on a government program, also forcing them to get into a routine of cooking meals for themselves.