President Trump's budget proposes massive cuts to the program that provides more than 42 million Americans with food stamps.
The Republican chairmen of the House and Senate Agriculture Committees released a joint statement Monday saying that the budget will not prevent them from doing their job of producing a Farm Bill that benefits farmers, consumers, and other stakeholders.
The budget includes the proposal as part of a complete revamp of the SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which now provides low-income families with electronic benefits that can be used to purchase groceries at authorized retailers.
However, some people like Annette Davis of Warren says it's a step back to the 1940's when food was rationed and the poor received powdered milk and cheese.
He says SNAP is efficient because it is a "free market model" that lets recipients shop at stores for their benefits.
The budget also includes cutting funding for the program by roughly $213 billion, or 30 percent, over the next 10 years. "And the reason for that is those low-priced food items tend to starches and high carbs, and things that are really nutritional or healthy for their families", said Rambo.
The Trump administration wants to create a program replacing half the food money families get each month- with 100% U-S- grown food and non-perishable items like peanut butter, canned foods and cereal.
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No fresh fruits or vegetables were listed among the items in the stable of foods that potentially would be sent to recipients, nor was there any indication of accommodations for health, cultural, religious or regional concerns. The main reason it does well is that it gives families the autonomy and dignity to pick out SNAP budgets.
Joel Berg, CEO of Hunger Free America, a hunger advocacy group that also helps clients access food-assistance services, said the administration's plan left him baffled. Food Bank officials don't think the SNAP Program deserves a dramatic change.
In Oswego County, benefits for 19,055 people on the program totaled $2.26 million in December, according to state records.
"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 home-grown by American farmers and producers", Perdue said.
Changes could be coming for hundreds of thousands of people who rely on SNAP benefits in the Pine Belt. Almost two-thirds were under 18, over 60 or disabled, according to the USDA. Even so, Weill says, "Whenever you see proposals like this that attack [SNAP].it harms the program even if it doesn't pass, in the long term reducing support for the program and stigmatizing people who use it".
But a leaked draft bill, circulated in recent weeks and reviewed by The Associated Press, outlines what those changes could look like.