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Why Trump’s Food Stamps Box is Bad Idea

Posted by SNAP EBT on November 2, 2018 at 2:27 am

President Trump is pushing a proposal to replace food stamps with what he calls a “Blue Apron” style program where food stamps recipients will receive a portion of their benefits in a box that is delivered to their house each month. We think Trump’s food stamps box is a bad idea and here are three major reasons why:

Trump’s Food Stamps Box is Demeaning

There is a stigma associated with food stamps in the United States that is mainly perpetuated by Republicans.

While the data actually shows that most households getting foods stamps have an adult that is working, there is still this perception that people on food stamps are not trying hard enough in life.

The perception is that people on foods stamps are simply not pulling themselves by the bootstraps and are lazy. They are taking advantage of the American taxpayers.

The thinking is that if only they tried hard enough, they will be able to find work and afford to pay for their own food.

The reality is actually far from that. The truth is that most people on SNAP benefits are actually working. They are not able to afford to purchase all their food because they are not making enough money.

When you hear stories from food stamps recipients who are working, you will find that some are working several jobs to make ends meet. They are just unable to pay for all their nutritional needs from what they are making, especially when they have kids, elderly or a disabled person in the household.

To deny them the ability to go buy their own food with their EBT card and send them generic government food is degrading and place more stigma on people receiving food stamps when most of them are trying really hard and just need a little help to make ends meet.

The average individual recipients get $126 a month, which translates to $4.2 a day, which is about $1.4 per meal. They are not making out like bandits and should not be treated as such.

Quality of Food Will be Worse

"Why Trump's Food Stamps Box is Bad Idea"

Another misconception that has been going around is that people on foods stamps use their money to buy junk, compared to what people who are not on food stamps buy. Again, this is further from the truth.

A study done by the Huffington Post shows that the food purchased by people on foods stamps is not that different from food purchased by those who don’t receive government assistance.

Therefore the idea that people on SNAP are going to make bad choices when it comes to what they buy versus the general population, and therefore the government needs to intervene and send them nutritious food is not supported by the data out there.

In addition, what’s would happen is that the government will purchase food from the lowest cost provider, and as companies bid to the bottom to win the contract, the quality of the food will deteriorate, versus what recipients can purchase at the grocery store on their own.

Furthermore, there is no assurance that the USDA will hold these companies to a higher standard to provide quality food.

Recipients will end up with sub-standard food – including low quality canned food produced with low-quality ingredients, high fructose corn syrup, lots of sodium and preservatives.

The better option is what we have now, which is allowing people on SNAP to purchase their own food at any grocery store or farmers market. This gives them access to quality, nutritious food options if they desire to purchase that. The current food stamps program works. Why change something that is working well?

Delivery Issues

Even if the government is able to deliver quality, nutritious food, this is a massive undertaking. There are about 39 million people on food stamps. Can we trust the US government to deliver a box to 39 million people each month?

We are talking about food here. How can we be sure that the people who the food is meant for actually receive them?

If someone does not receive their package, what is the recourse? Our suspicious is that this will create a side industry of people who steal these packages and sell them.

Those that will suffer are the elderly or disabled or those who live in poor neighborhoods where mail safety is an issue.

To make this work, the government will have to contract out the delivery of the packages to services with tracking, which will be more expensive perhaps negate any savings expected.

Even then, there is no guarantee that the packages will make it to the intended recipient.

For a government that passed a law requiring Social Security checks to be received electronically due to the cost of mailing, theft and delivery issues – it’s hard to imagine that the same government can be trusted to deliver food to 39 million people each month.

People need food. They are on food stamps because they need help meeting their nutrition needs. These are not the people to experiment with.

The current system works. Money is put on EBT cards and can only be used to purchase approved food at approved locations. What’s wrong with that?

We hope this article helps to inform you on why Trump’s food stamps box is a bad idea.

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