The White House budget proposal contains a new plan for reforming food stamps that would replace the current debit card-based system with one that directly provides American-grown foods to households.
It would radically remark the current program, which serves nearly 42 million people through what’s called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. While the White House budget as a whole has no chance of being adopted, the Trump administration has said that welfare reform will be something it plans to push this year through a Republican-held Congress.
The White House says the changes could save $214 billion over a decade.
Households receiving $90 per month or more would get a portion in shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish. The remainder of the benefit would go onto the debit card for use at approved grocery stores.
The Department of Agriculture says what it calls the Harvest Box proposal would cut in half the retail cost of the items.
The White House also aims to cap the federal match of administrative costs to states at the average costs per case, mandates the use of a real-time database to prevent duplicative participation across state lines, eliminates state performance bonuses and nutrition education grants and eliminates the minimum benefit for those who would otherwise qualify for less.