White House proposal could decrease SNAP funds given

SNAP provides financial support for food assistance across the country.

President Donald Trump’s budget request for the 2019 fiscal year includes a proposal that would limit how much food households receiving food stamps would be given. The proposal would save the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) $129 billion in the next 10 years.

People receiving at least $90 a month would be delivered a box of food in lieu of a portion of the money they normally receive on their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. The boxes would contain foods like pasta, boxed milk, canned fruits and vegetables, and other non-perishable items.

It’s the amount of food in the boxes that worry some of the people who receive food assistance through SNAP.

"My kids can eat a box of food in an hour. So that's not helping the cause," said Tiffany Williams, a recipient of SNAP.

Tiffany Williams uses food stamps when shopping for her family that right now consists of herself and her seven kids. For her, it’s the best way to make sure her kids are getting the nutrients they need. The lack of the nutrients in those proposed boxes have her concerned.

"It won't help,” said Williams. ”There's no nutritional value."

Across the country, many stores now accept food stamps—including the local farmer’s market. Some vendors at the farmer’s market in Cedar Rapids started accepting SNAP payments last year.

"We wanted to make it easier for both the population that needed to use SNAP and also for the farmer's market who could kind of capitalize on some extra business that way," said Jenn Draper, the Events Planner for Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

By accepting EBT cards, stores make it easier for families to have options for a healthier living.

"It's important that we have local access to healthy foods for every population. This is one of those ways we're making that happen,” said Draper.

Without the amount in food stamps she receives now, Tiffany says it will be harder to make sure families like her continue to stay healthy.

"It's a great help and without it, it'll be a struggle,” said Williams.

If the plan is passed by Congress, the government will let states decide how to deliver the food.

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