"It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP [Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program] participants now receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers".
But under the Trump proposal, which USDA has dubbed "America's Harvest Box", all households receiving more than $90 per month in benefits - 81 percent of SNAP households overall - would begin receiving roughly half of their benefits in the form of government-purchased, non-perishable food items.
The White House is hoping to deliver food to low-income communities Blue-Apron style in an effort to save money.
"It maintains the same level of food value as SNAP participants now receive, provides states flexibility in administering the program, and is responsible to the taxpayers", said Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue in a statement. But consumer watchdogs question whether such a program would actually save money and have further doubts about the government picking out food for millions of Americans.
The remaining benefits would be issued via the traditional benefits card.
The "USDA America's Harvest Box" would contain items such as shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables. Probably the River Bend Food Bank.
Changes proposed by the Trump administration would reduce the amount of choice those who use SNAP benefits to buy food would have. No fresh fruits or vegetables would be included.
Trump officials told reporters on Monday that the reforms would affect approximately 16 million Americans who now participate in SNAP, or 81 percent of households in the program. It also makes sure that they're getting nutritious food.
Where that leaves the bad idea of replacing half of all cash assistance with care packages is impossible to say.
Critics immediately began questioning the effectiveness of the new program, which is supposedly created to cut costs - but raises many logistical and practical concerns. "These budget proposals for SNAP are the wrong way to go to provide healthy, safe, affordable food for all". Congressman Steve Cohen said the proposed changes to the SNAP program are both impractical and cruel.
Knott and many other anti-hunger groups, such as the Greater Chicago Food Depository, say the existing program works exactly as it should, contracting and expanding to help Americans in times of need.
"It's going to be a hard decision with people making a decision on my food", Burke said.
The Trump administration said the move would be a cost-effective approach reducing the cost of the snap program by $129-billion over the next 10 years.