Changes to food stamp program raises concerns, questions

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Major changes to the Federal Food Stamp Program could be coming in 2019, according to President Trump’s proposed budget. And so far, there are mixed reactions.

Al Brislain used to run the Harry Chapin Food Bank in Fort Myers, and doesn’t think this will end well for food banks across the country.

“I think it would make it more difficult because people would be getting less food. I’m sure of that, from the proposal I’ve seen. You would cut back on some of the food that people are getting and they wouldn’t have the choices that they have now,” Brislain said.

The White House called the new plan a”Blue Apron-type delivery program”.

Families who get $90 or more per month in SNAP benefits will receive a portion of their benefits in a food package, which would include shelf-stable milk, cereals, pastas, peanut butter, canned fruits, vegetables and meats.

“It lowers the cost to us because we can buy prices at wholesale, whereas they have to buy it at retail. It also makes sure that they’re getting nutritious food. So we’re pretty excited about that. That’s a tremendous cost savings,” said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget.

The administration says the proposed budget for 2019 would cut the SNAP program by $17 billion.

“So many kids rely on food stamps or SNAP and I can’t see changing the program that feeds so many kids without knowing what the impact would be. I think that’s important,” Brislain said.

The proposal also includes closing eligibility loopholes.

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