Tag: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Readers on the America’s Harvest Box plan: Rethink food stamps and the recipients
Welfare

Readers on the America’s Harvest Box plan: Rethink food stamps and the recipients

Letter to the editor: I am on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
I am grateful this was available when my world unraveled.
I am scared for the future, over things no one has control over.
I know to buy manager specials, get the deals at farmer’s market, cooking at home on those days that I can shop or cook.
Letter to the editor: People on SNAP must not be buying healthy foods at all, or we wouldn’t have such a large obesity problem in the U.S. People must be buying junk food and soft drinks, or selling the cards for cash and gas stations take food stamps for plenty of bad things.
Make them buy healthy foods to actually cook and provide for their families.
Cooking is cheaper than premade microwave junk.
If there is an opportunity to lift these people up, then I believe Americans are in favor of doing whatever necessary.
But the SNAP program and other welfare-related benefits only work to keep most people down and dependent on the government.
Although not flawless, the America’s Harvest Box plan is a possible step in the right direction — especially for those communities and inner-city neighborhoods referred to as “food deserts.” Delivering healthier food to these individuals is an opportunity to improve their diet and improve their lives.

Trump administration seeks to require more people to work for food stamps
Welfare

Trump administration seeks to require more people to work for food stamps

The Trump administration wants more food stamp recipients to work for their benefits.
The Agriculture Department will seek comments on how to get more able-bodied adults who don’t have dependent children into the workforce, agency officials announced Thursday.
Thursday’s announcement is the latest in a series of steps that the Trump administration is taking to impose work requirements on various safety net programs.
The food stamp program already requires childless adults to work.
Adults without minor children can only receive benefits for three months out of every 36-month period unless they are working or participating in training programs 20 hours a week.
However, states can waive that requirement for areas where unemployment is at least 10% or there is an insufficient number of jobs, as defined by the Department of Labor.
The budget proposal calls for limiting the waivers to areas where unemployment is at least 10% over 12 months. “Past decisions may have been the easy short-term choice, but USDA policies must change if they contribute to a long-term failure for many SNAP participants and their families.”
About one-third of the country typically lives in an area that waives the work requirement, according to the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Under the Trump budget, only 1.3% of the nation would, according to the center’s analysis of a similar proposal last year.

Let food stamp recipients eat socialism
Welfare

Let food stamp recipients eat socialism

Who knew that President Trump and some in his Cabinet were closet Socialists.
How else to explain their plan to slash a partnership between government and private industry that provides food for the poorest Americans and partially replace it with a program fresh from Cold War Bulgaria.
Since the 1960s, low-income Americans have received benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), popularly known as food stamps, and used them to buy food at about 260,000 retailers from Wal-Mart to corner groceries to farmers’ markets.
Under Trump’s proposed budget, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) would purchase food with its bulk buying power, put in containers called “America’s Harvest Boxes,” and somehow get them to 16.4 million households across the country.
Just how, no one has explained.
That will be a problem for the states.
Never mind that this would require a gigantic bureaucracy to store food, assemble boxes, deliver the boxes to states, let people pick up their boxes or distribute boxes to recipients, keep track of the addresses and moves of millions of Americans, track who get the boxes and who doesn’t, and find a speedy way to replace boxes that are late or stolen so people don’t go hungry.
All this so recipients who now choose what they eat and buy fresh, nutritious food at local stores with what amounts to a debit card can instead get a “Harvest Box” filled with pastas, cereals and other non-perishables.
And there’s this: The boxes would provide only half of the monthly allotment, so the government would still be distributing debit cards.
The SNAP benefit for each person in a single-parent household with children is about $1.40 per meal — not exactly fancy recipe resources.

Trump proposes replacing food stamps with food boxes but anti-hunger advocates not swallowing it
Welfare

Trump proposes replacing food stamps with food boxes but anti-hunger advocates not swallowing it

For a time, Dave Miner, who works to end hunger, tried the Blue Apron service at home.
While he liked the recipes, the home-delivered food in a box service was too expensive, so he canceled it.
Under the program, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients who receive more than $90 a month would get less discretionary money and instead would receive a box of nonperishable food items each month.
… The best way for people to get the food they want is to purchase it for themselves.” In Indiana the Family and Social Services Administration oversees the SNAP program.
Under the Trump administration’s proposal, the food boxes will not contain healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Giving SNAP beneficiaries choice over what they purchase helps alleviate some of the stigma attached to receiving government assistance, said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.
In addition, the Trump Administration has provided few details for how the plan would work on the ground.
The organization estimates 1 million Hoosiers are food-insecure.
Federal funding could go further if it supported Feeding America regional produce cooperatives, which distribute fresh produce to hundreds of locations across Gleaners’ service area at an average cost of 16.5 cents per pound, Elliott said.
Nor is it clear that there are many places where SNAP can trim costs, said Miner, projects chair for the Indy Hunger Network.

Donald Trump’s food stamp box idea is a solution without a problem
Welfare

Donald Trump’s food stamp box idea is a solution without a problem

With the release of its fiscal year 2019 budget, the Trump administration pitched a “bold, innovative approach” to reform food stamps.
The proposal recommends the creation of a program that would ship food packages known as “America’s Harvest Box” to SNAP recipients receiving more than $90 monthly in benefits nationwide, which would encompass 81% of SNAP recipients (16.4 million households).
These new Harvest Boxes would take the place of half of SNAP recipients’ current benefits.
More: How to start fixing democracy with the $1.50-a-week tax cut Paul Ryan gave you More: Sen. Tim Scott: New tax law will spur opportunity in distressed communities SNAP is not a perfect system.
It costs American taxpayers a large amount of money and has not proved effective enough in moving able-bodied benefit recipients towards work.
The odds that a proposal such as this could actually save money, let alone the kind of money that the USDA suggests, are low.
The Harvest Box program would need the ability to deliver food on a monthly basis to households all across America.
Assuming 16.4 million packages sent out 12 months a year, about 197 million Harvest Boxes would have to be sent out annually.
Taxpayers and benefit recipients would benefit from a better defined pathway to work for SNAP recipients and program integrity reforms.
Neither would benefit from an inefficient and expensive system that tells Americans what to eat.

Montgomery couple convicted of Social Security, food stamps fraud
Welfare

Montgomery couple convicted of Social Security, food stamps fraud

Montgomery Police Department data on criminal offenses in January 2018.
Wochit A Social Security office employee and her husband, both Montgomery residents, were convicted of fraud and witness tampering at the Federal Courthouse in Montgomery on Thursday.
More: The great divide: ‘Redlining’ kept neighborhoods separate, unequal “The trial evidence showed that the Palmers lied about their incomes and living arrangements for the purposes of fraudulently obtaining Social Security benefits on behalf of Nakia Palmer’s minor son,” the release states.
In total, the couple received $25,000 in improper benefits, money that the trial found was spent on a new vehicle.
Nakia Palmer was convicted of mail fraud, theft of government property, Social Security benefit fraud and food stamp fraud.
“Government benefit programs exist to ensure that those in need do not go without the necessities of life,” said United States Attorney Louis V. Franklin.
“The Palmers abused the system not out of need, but to maintain their lifestyles.
In carrying out their greedy scheme, the Palmers apparently thought that they were above the law.
I hope that this verdict sends the message that the theft of taxpayers’ dollars will not go unpunished.” A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The Palmers face fines and maximum sentences of 20 years’ imprisonment.

SNAP cuts could hurt Montanans, groups say
Welfare

SNAP cuts could hurt Montanans, groups say

And, it serves more than 56,000 households in Montana.
She said decreasing funds given for food would mean people would have to use money from elsewhere, such as housing. “Sometimes people have a view of how many people it will affect and it’s not accurate.” Opportunities Inc., a private nonprofit help agency, helped 3,941 people in 2017 with food, Seaman said.
That’s a tremendous cost savings.” Kottel criticized that proposal as well.
“I support putting the ‘nutrition’ back into the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, by emphasizing healthy foods like the Trump administration proposed for the healthy boxes program,” he said via email Thursday.
He said over the past few years, he has asked scores of grocery and convenience store clerks if they think Red Bull belongs in the food stamp program.
She said the proposal would require a government system to source and purchase foods, pack food boxes on a monthly basis, and then distribute those boxes to millions of American homes.
“SNAP allows participants to shop at their local grocery store and choose the foods that meet their family’s needs,” she said.
“Did they notice the other 10 people who bought hamburger to feed their family?
“I am closely reviewing the president’s budget proposal, but at the end of the day, the appropriate place to address SNAP and other important nutrition programs is through the Farm Bill,” he said.

Oh, SNAP! Trump wants to replace food stamps with food boxes
Welfare

Oh, SNAP! Trump wants to replace food stamps with food boxes

Get big government off our backs … and into our stomachs.
That’s the sentiment behind President Donald Trump’s proposal to slash food stamp funding and partially replace the program with deliveries of food boxes to the homes of struggling Americans.
Critics of the plan have likened it to a low-rent Blue Apron, the high-end meal delivery service, but run by big government.
Trump’s massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations blew a hole in the budget, so in his budget unveiled earlier this week, he proposes to make up the difference by slashing programs such as food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid that benefit struggling Americans.
The hypocrisy behind the plan is so rank you need to wear a nose clip: Small government conservatives letting big government determine what people eat?
In Michigan, the average Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (food stamp) recipient gets about $122 a month.
Small potatoes considering that Trump’s proposing a $4.4 trillion budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
We’ve got bigger whales to fry.
America, we’re better than this.
More from Mike Thompson:

The real story of food stamps
Welfare

The real story of food stamps

President Donald Trump wants to radically overhaul a critical safety net program that covers more than 42 million people — or roughly one in eight Americans.
They argue that the program is too large and rife with fraud.
How many people receive them?
More than 42.2 million Americans participated in the food stamp program last year.
What’s the average monthly benefit?
Food stamps often don’t cover an entire month’s worth of food, but the program was always meant to be used as a supplement to a family’s budget.
What can’t recipients buy?
Are recipients required to work?
Adults without minor children can only receive benefits for three months out of every 36-month period, unless they are working or participating in training programs 20 hours a week.
The Trump administration’s budget calls for requiring more people to work, in part by limiting states’ use of waivers.

White House wants to deliver food to the poor, Blue Apron-style
Welfare

White House wants to deliver food to the poor, Blue Apron-style

Think of it as Blue Apron for food stamp recipients. “USDA America’s Harvest Box is a bold, innovative approach to providing nutritious food to people who need assistance feeding themselves and their families — and all of it is homegrown by American farmers and producers,” said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in a statement. “It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] participants currently receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers.”
Part of the president’s fiscal 2019 budget blueprint, the idea immediately sparked concerns and questions among consumer advocates and food retailers.
They feared it would upend a much-needed benefit for more than 80% of those in the program.
Here’s how it would work: Instead of receiving all their food stamp funds, households would get a box of food that the government describes as nutritious and 100% grown and produced in the U.S.
The box would be valued at about half of the SNAP recipient’s monthly benefit.
The administration didn’t detail exactly how families would receive the food boxes, saying states could distribute them through existing infrastructure, partnerships or directly to residences through delivery services.
The proposal would save nearly $130 billion over 10 years, as well as improve the nutritional value of the program and reduce the potential for fraud, according to the administration.
Plus, it could be difficult for families to pick up the box, especially if they don’t have a car.