The GOP administration’s plan to replace SNAP (food stamps) with food boxes isn’t just about eliminating food choices, or eliminating fresh fruits and vegetables and meats from poor people’s diets.
The proposed SNAP change will take $200,000,000,000 away from working people and local economies.
It’s about making lower-income neighborhoods even worse, keeping poor people poor, and destroying working-class people.
|Photo by Kai Oberhäuser on Unsplash|
Let’s break it down.
That there are restrictions on what you can buy with SNAP: essentially just food items.
They’re things you’d find in a grocery – probably one close to where you live. And then you use those benefits at the grocery. Sure, you get fresh food that way, but you also are spending money at a store in that community.
If it’s a locally owned store, then there’s a huge local multiplier effect (tl;dr: money spent locally improves the local economy a lot more.) Even if it’s just a store that employs local people, those benefits have helped not only the person who gets the benefits, but others in the community when those benefits are used.
That isn’t the case with these “Harvest boxes”. The money that creates those benefits goes only to the (presumably) large companies that make those boxes and ships them out. (Since they’re nonperishable items, it’s reasonable to expect that it will be massively centralized.)
This program’s impact is going to be much greater on people who are not receiving SNAP benefits. They, at least, will still be getting food.
This proposed change will take $200,000,000,000 away from farmers, grocers, and local economies.
And while big retailers like Wal*Mart (who gets a goodly chunk of these monies) will lose the most in raw dollars, they have enough centralization of their own (and other products) to survive.
Who will lose the greatest percentage of their income? Local grocers – and that will not only be a blow to local economies, but will create even more food deserts in our country. (I live and work near one.)
The biggest impact of this program will not be on SNAP recipients.
The biggest impact will be on our local businesses and economies.
And the GOP is doing it by trying to heap shame on people who need help.