Under the plan, according to Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney, SNAP recipients would receive roughly half of their benefits in "a Blue Apron-type program where you actually receive the food instead of receive the cash".
Mulvaney said that the program will be the most dominant idea in the proposed budget by the White House.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said the plan was innovative and bold, highlighting that the food in the packages would be grown by American farmers.
The box would contain items such as peanut butter, shelf stable milk and canned fruits and vegetables. The Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP), often colloquially referred to as food stamps, provide a monthly supplement for purchasing healthy food to eligible, low-income families.
Low-income Americans who get at least $90 a month from SNAP, would get about half their benefits in the form of a "USDA Foods Package".
Currently, SNAP gives 42 million Americans a food voucher averaging $125 per person that can be redeemed for nearly any food product in a grocery store.
There are many who are concerned about how fruit and vegetables will remain fresh in these boxes and how people with dietary needs will receive what they need. "If those proposals move further, I think it would be important for the helping agencies and non-profits like the Mississippi Food Network, for the Society of St. Andrew, for food pantries, to really make SNAP participants aware of those different benefits and the other things out there". The food bank says they would feel the immediate domino effect of this cut.
She said the proposal, if enacted, "would be devastating for the one-in-eight Americans who use SNAP to put food on the table every day". "They're going to feel the preset boxes, the limited options".
Others, like the owner of Green Apple Market, say they accept government money for their goods, and fear a program change could be a big hit on his business. They feared it would upend a much-needed benefit for more than 80% of those in the program.