KANSAS CITY, Mo. — This week, President Trump and the USDA proposed a drastic change to the SNAP program, better known as food stamps.
Instead of food stamp recipients going to the grocery store to use their benefits on select items, the new program would deliver a “harvest box” to their home with select items inside.
Nearly half a million families in Kansas and Missouri are in the SNAP program.
“It’s a food source. People gotta eat. It definitely helps me. I'm a single person and what I do get is a definite plus,” said Duce Hoegler of Kansas City, Kansas.
Hoegler has been on food stamps for three years.
“I don't like that idea because people gotta have other things than a box of food. I mean, a box of food sounds like non-perishables, but you still need your milk, eggs, dairy, meats... You gotta have that,” said Hoegler.
The USDA says if this program is approved, it could save the federal government more than 100 billion dollars in the next 10 years.
“Considering I am on disability, I have limited funds. So with the food stamp program, it fills the gap of where I am unable to get a lot of things from the grocery store. Even though I still have to shop at the grocery store, the help that I get from food stamps, it helps a lot,” said Danielle Lewis of Kansas City, Kansas.
Lewis thinks the proposal is not feasible. She also thinks it's disrespectful to those who need it the most.
"My oldest child is a type one diabetic, so are y'all considering her needs for that? It just feels like it doesn't give us any independence to make our own decisions on what we eat. It’s like y'all just gonna give us what y'all wanna give us, and that's it... So it's kind of hurtful and not human, dehumanizing," said Lewis.
Right now the “harvest box” proposal is just a suggestion in President Trump’s proposed budget.
Officials say the change would use a portion of the benefits on the “harvest box,” possibly still allowing recipients to have funds allocated to buy perishable items from the grocery store.