Advertised as a way to “reduce the potential for … fraud” in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and “provide nutritious food” to SNAP enrollees, President Trump’s new Harvest Box program creates more problems than it solves.

The current SNAP benefit system is run on electronic benefit transfer cards, which have actually worked to decrease fraud and reduce stigma for users. These cards replaced paper stamps, which were often traded for cash, and users have the choice to buy any unprepared foods they want. The Harvest Box program undermines this system by reducing choice and ignoring cultural and dietary preferences, food sensitivities, allergies and the logistics of Harvest Box distribution.

Instead of changing the system, Trump may be better served to work toward reducing food assistance dependence by increasing job mobility, minimum-wage standards and elder care services to help strengthen the economic independence of the Americans who he so often announces he is “putting first.”

Ayden Eickhoff


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