Trump administration proposes plan to deliver food to low-income households

Produce aisle at a grocery store. (KXAN Photo)
Produce aisle at a grocery store. (KXAN Photo)

WASHINGTON (KXAN/CNBC) — A proposal to overhaul how food stamps are distributed in America involves packaged food deliveries.

According to CNBC, the Trump administration is proposing replacing a portion of the federal food stamp program with actual boxes of food delivered to recipients’ front doors. By controlling what is sent to homes, the U.S. government would directly be in charge of what households are eating.

The boxes would replace about half of the current program’s cash benefits. The boxes would include shelf-stable items such as juice, pasta, canned meat and beans — similar to items that would be distributed at a food pantry.

“It lowers the cost to us because we can buy prices at wholesale, whereas [beneficiaries] have to buy it at retail,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said to CNBC. “It also makes sure they’re getting nutritious food. So we’re pretty excited about that.”

While the White House believes this idea is innovative, the supermarket industry — where food stamps make up 7.5 percent of sales—could potentially push back. Customer Growth Partners tells CNBC it estimates that Walmart alone reaps more than one-fifth of all food stamp sales.

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