Obama may have wanted to be a transformative President, but Donald J. Trump appears well on his way to owning this title.

His administration is now proposing a food delivery program that would replace about half of food stamp benefits for households who qualify for the boxes. The program is referred to as “USDA America’s Harvest Box”.

The Trump administration is proposing replacing a portion of the federal food stamp program with actual boxes of food delivered to recipients’ front doors, putting the U.S. government directly in charge of what goes on the dinner plates of more than 16 million low-income households.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney likened the model to that of the dominant meal-kit delivery service, Blue Apron, and called it one of the most “innovative” ideas in the president’s budget.

“I don’t want to steal somebody’s copyright,” Mulvaney told reporters Monday. “You actually receive the food instead of receive the cash.”

In a nutshell, the program would reduce government over-spending and mismanagement while ensuring people used the funds for their “Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program” for foods that would truly supplement nutrition.

Under the proposal, which was announced Monday, low-income Americans who receive at least $90 a month — just over 80 percent of all SNAP recipients — would get about half of their benefits in the form of a “USDA Foods package.” The package was described in the budget as consisting of “shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit and vegetables.” The boxes would not include fresh fruits or vegetables.

…The USDA believes that state governments will be able to deliver this food at much less cost than SNAP recipients currently pay for food at retail stores — thus reducing the overall cost of the SNAP program by $129 billion over the next 10 years.

This and other changes in the SNAP program, according to the Trump administration, will reduce the SNAP budget by $213 billion over those years — cutting the program by almost 30 percent.

Additionally, it would reduce the potential for fraud like seen in “Operation Meal Ticket”.

Of course, social justice activists are already outrageously outraged by the proposal.

“We view this as an unworkable solution in search of a problem,” said Matt Knott, president of Chicago-based Feeding America, a national network of food banks and pantries.

Knott and many other anti-hunger groups, such as the Greater Chicago Food Depository, say the existing program works exactly as it should, contracting and expanding to help Americans in times of need.

“We continue to see deep, pressing need every day, in every neighborhood of Chicago. The proposal to cut SNAP is deeply troubling,” said Kate Maehr, executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, on Tuesday.

One of my favorite Youtube pundits is Uncle Hotep, an independent pundit who humorously analyzes the proposal and deems the food package the “Trump Box”. He clearly is supportive of the approach.

The “Trump Box” could make a great deal of difference in the lives of many low-income Americans while reducing the costs associated with a massive social program. It would be truly transformative.


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