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Co-op Board Says No to SNAP Boxes

Apr 06, 2018 07:04PM ● By Linda Ditch
In a recent statement, the Board of the Hanover Consumer Cooperative Society, Inc., The Co-op released a resolution against the proposed changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as SNAP or food stamps. Currently, beneficiaries get funds loaded onto an EBT card that they can use to buy foods of their choice, as long as they fall within certain guidelines.

President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for 2019 recommends changes to the SNAP program. Those changes include giving USDA “food packages” to the approximately 80 percent of recipients who receive at least $90 a month. These packages would contain “shelf-stable milk, ready-to-eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, and canned fruit and vegetables.” Missing from the boxes would be fresh fruits and vegetables.

In the resolution, the Board listed the following reasons for its opposition:
  • The budget proposal to replace roughly half of SNAP benefits with deliveries of boxed food to eligible recipients is unfair and unhealthy.
  • The majority of people who benefit from SNAP are children and the elderly, who cannot and should not be compelled to work in order to feed themselves.
  • With the minimum wage at $7.25, it is impossible for many workers to provide adequate nutrition for their families.
  • The change dramatically reduces the amount of fresh food recipients can receive by reducing their choice of foods.
  • The proposal does not accommodate people with special dietary needs. It takes away agency and disrespects poor Americans.
  • The proposal will increase food insecurity and food deserts and have a negative impact on local economies.
  • Mandating work requirements victimizes people who cannot find a job in this economy.
  • Around the nation, the current SNAP program brings nutritional benefits to vulnerable people while spreading the economic impact of SNAP purchases among many retailers.
  • We oppose any cuts to SNAP. More healthy food should be available, and SNAP should not be privatized.

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