Slashing Food Aid for Working Families

Food Stamps help put food on the table for more than 40 million Americans—largely working families with kids. But President Trump’s budget cuts $214 billion—about 30 percent of the funding for the program (known as SNAP, or the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program).

Bringing Back “Government Cheese.” The budget also replaces half the food aid with “Harvest Boxes,” filled with low-cost “shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, ready-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables,” similar to the “government cheese” once provided to welfare recipients.

Cutting SNAP = Gourmet Home Delivery Service? Adding insult to injury, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney compared the idea to the upscale, home-delivery food service Blue Apron. But Food Stamps pay an average of $1.37 per meal, while Blue Apron’s offerings, prepared-to-order for affluent customers, cost $10 per serving. Furthermore, the administration has failed to explain how the food boxes will be delivered.

Slashing Supermarket Jobs. The “Harvest Boxes” could also cost tens of thousands of jobs in the $840 billion supermarket industry, where Food Stamps account for 7.5 percent of total sales.

These Are Working Families. Despite politicians’ crude stereotyping, 55 percent of SNAP families with kids have a wage-earning parent. In fact, 52 percent of fast-food workers or their families are enrolled in SNAP or similar programs.