In budget proposals in 2017 and 2018, President Trump tried to slash funding for SNAP by about $200 billion over 10 years — roughly one-fourth of its total funding. Now, with Trump close to unveiling his fiscal 2020 budget package, the “hunger community” is concerned about a renewed call for massive cuts.
The Trump administration’s budget-cutting plans for next year may well include a test, or even a full-scale revival, of “America’s Harvest Box,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Wednesday.
In a quiet subcommittee vote, Congress declined on Wednesday to take delivery of “America’s Harvest Box,” the Trump administration’s headline-grabbing idea of sending a monthly box of nonperishable foods to SNAP recipients.
Along with the much-criticized Harvest Box of nonperishable food for low-income Americans, President Trump proposed in his budget more stringent limits on food stamps for people who work less than 20 hours a week. House Agriculture chairman Michael Conaway may go beyond Trump in his proposals to restrict eligibility and to channel millions of food-stamp recipients into workfare and job-training programs.
A survey of economists by the University of Chicago business school found overwhelming disapproval of the Trump administration’s Harvest Box proposal, said the Los Angeles Times.
The farm bill was central to several discussions at the Food Tank Summit yesterday in Washington, D.C. The theme of the summit, which draws hundreds of food system advocates from around the country, was how to cultivate the next generation of food leaders. (No paywall)
The USDA official in charge of public nutrition told openly skeptical anti-hunger activists that the administration's proposed Harvest Box of processed and canned food would be a more efficient way to feed poor Americans than food stamps. To an undercurrent of dissent, Brandon Lipps said the boxes of food could be delivered to tens of millions of residences each month "with billion of dollars in savings" compared to current system of food stamp recipients buying groceries from local stores.
There are federal predecessors to the Trump administration's "Harvest Box" proposal, to provide half of food-stamp benefits in the form of a box of processed and packaged foods, says the NPR blog The Salt. "Among those horrified at the thought: American Indians who recognized this as the same type of federal food assistance that tribes have received for decades, with devastating implications for health."
At the annual USDA Ag Outlook Forum, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue doubled down on his support for the recently proposed “Harvest Box” food stamp program. Perdue provided some elaboration on his vision for the program but offered little evidence of growing support. (No paywall)