"I don't want to steal somebody's copyright - but a Blue Apron-type program where you actually receive the food instead of receive the cash", Mulvaney said at a briefing at the White House on Monday. Much of that savings would come from switching to food delivery.
The Trump administration's 2019 budget proposed cutting food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, by $17 billion in 2019 and more than $213 billion over the next decade, a reduction of almost 30 percent.
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".
That change would also impact thousands of military families who monthly receive the SNAP benefit across the U.S. According to the a statement from the USDA, "America's Harvest Box" would contain foods like "shelf-stable milk, juice, grains, ready-eat- cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, canned meat, poultry or fish, and canned fruits and vegetables". The boxes would not include fresh fruits or vegetables. The remainder of their benefits would be given to them on electronic benefit cards, as before.
Proponents of the budget say it will cut down on fraud and save the federal government money over the current SNAP program. Gundersen said people will leave the program as a result of the shift. Taking choice away, he said, is "the wrong approach".
But 21 News has learned that many of those who would be impacted are not interested in the proposal, and others are reaching out to the President wanting to know just how the program would work. Plus, it could be hard for families to pick up the box, especially if they don't have a vehicle.
More than 15,000 households in NWA use SNAP. He says "the budget seems to assume that participating in SNAP is a character flaw".
Leaders at the state's Department of Health and the Department of Social and Health Services on Wednesday raised concerns about the proposal - specifically a plan to introduce a food delivery program for people receiving benefits.
"What's the process for matching, if I go on Amazon and order food like you and I - I can pick out what I want, I have some options.not everyone has availability to the internet, what's the system behind that?" said President Herbert Smith. "Among the problems, it's going to be costly and take money out of the [SNAP] program from the administrative side".
Mr. Lockwood said SNAP benefits could be reformed, pointing to the more targeted food selections supported through the state Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children program, known as WIC. 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.
However, he disagreed with media coverage that claimed the SNAP program is being abused by users, which he described as "people from all walks of life".