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Blue Apron? 'Um, No.' Anti-Hunger Advocates Decry Trump's Food Box Proposal for Nation's Poor


Blue Apron? 'Um, No.' Anti-Hunger Advocates Decry Trump's Food Box Proposal for Nation's Poor

Julia Conley, staff writer

Amid the outcry over President Donald Trump's proposed 2019 budget—which also calls for massive spending cuts for education, healthcare, and foreign aid—policy experts and anti-hunger groups zeroed in on Tuesday on the administration's plan to replace food stamps with boxes that would contain foods pre-selected by the Agriculture Department.


Enough is enough…when is our government going to grow a pair and get with the program? Have they no decency, have they no shame? This is, again, rank and putrid beyond belief.


“Have they no decency, have they no shame?”

No. They do not have either.


This is so sad, this whole thing of the last year plus is making me angry and ill. I know I’m not alone but feel powerless.


Actually, WIC works a little like that already. I learned, by standing in the checkout line behind a young woman doing her first WIC shopping, that when the WIC list says “bread,” she can select only a loaf that’s marked on its label as WIC qualified. She can’t buy a wholesome loaf baked in the store and omitting preservatives. She has to find the commercial loaf with the WIC label.

And remember the USDA surplus cheese?


In a society that already dehumanizes the poor, the proposal is to feed our least fortunate like animals in Confined Animal Feed Operations.

Think how diseased the minds are that come up with these ideas.


I have to weigh in on this. I was receiving USDA food once ; huge hunks of crappy cheese and the worst was the can of pork, or more to the point pork fat. It was so gross. I also went to an organization that received the expired food from some grocery stores and all the dented cans. So many picking over the fruit and veggies trying to find pieces without mold or just rotten. And surprisingly not a lot of the bakery items were taken. People wanted food, not crap.


You are definitely not alone. Unfortunately, the angry and ill feelings are the result of actually being powerless.

There is a large segment of American society that does not believe in community and really does not care about anyone except their immediate friends and family. Some of those people are now holding all of the cards.

Remember during last years’ election we kept hearing “this is not who we are” (in reference to Cadet Bonespurs)? Well, this is EXACTLY who we are.

The only thing holding us together is inertia.


Let the poor eat crap!


No rest for the Wicked, Ditton.

Every single situation, every moment of their time is used to maximize their return on investment.

Profit, Profit, Profit.

Not, People, Planet, or Peace.

I don’t know if these monsters bleed, but, it would be interesting to find out.


That’s not the way WIC works most places. The requirements for WIC eligible foods do encourage healthy eating for the women and children they serve (see https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/wic-food-packages-regulatory-requirements-wic-eligible-foods). Some states may have dumber requirements than others - but our experience with the California program was extremely positive (admittedly - that was a long time ago).


I know many here believe that we are powerless to change anything the Republicans do.

Truth is, We the People hold all of the power!

It’s people’s fear that closes their eyes to this.

The power is in our numbers. And I am not just referring to the Ballot Box.

I am talking about our right to speak freely and protest.

I started protesting in 1969 at the ripe age of 17.
My involvement in the Vietnam Antiwar Movement ended with the United States pulling out of Southeast Asia.

Many in this country have never protested anything, and see protests as too time consuming and something that others will do.

Protests mean being hot or cold, and hungry and uncomfortable at times.

Those who have never felt like they needed to protest, most likely never will.

Us old farts, are only in this game for a couple more innings.

The young, who have the most to lose for being complacent in a time such as now of great turmoil, must choose to get up to the plate, or sit the game out on the bench.

The choice is all of ours.

My recommendation: Choose wisely. Your future and your children’s futures depend on it.


And the homeless who have no ready access to a kitchen facility.


Protesting, while an honorable endeavor, requires the powers that are protested against at some point to succumb to their conscious, and do the right thing. This group has no decency and no conscious, meaning they will never get to that point of enlightenment.


Based on the responses, I’m guessing no one here is old enough to remember the government’s “surplus food” program, which predated SNAP. Every month, people who needed food went to a central distribution center to collect foodstuffs essentially like the ones listed in the “Harvest Box.”

As someone who has actually been poor in a time when there was no safety net, I can assure you that stuff was welcome; and my mother made good use of it. So, maybe y’all might want to just take a step back and try to think like someone who may often need to dig under sofa cushions and in all their pockets to find money for a loaf of bread.

Yes, it’s appalling that the already inadequate SNAP program is scheduled to be essentially gutted, but that’s what neoliberals do. And, yes, we must do everything in our power to oust the oligarchs from power. However, every response I’ve seen to this particular issue reeks of class privilege and white savior complex. It isn’t about the food at all—it’s about TRUMP!!! and deciding what’s best for other people.

Or, to put it simply, this isn’t a TRUMP!! program. It’s a revival of a program enacted at least 50 years ago, albeit lacking the big block of cheese that was always my favorite part of the surplus handout. The peanut butter wasn’t bad, either.

Yes, be outraged that the people who have been waiting those 50 years to gut the safety net are finally in a position to do so. But stop pretending you have the right to make decisions for poor people about what they should eat. You have no way of knowing whether or not SNAP benefits are used on fresh produce; I’m betting not, since I have experience there, too. When you don’t have much to spend on food, you buy what’s cheap and can be stretched into as many meals as possible. The contents described meet that criterion.


There’s a lot more to WIC than you realize. WIC provides nutrition assessments to determine appropriate food packages for the participants. The food packages are called food prescriptions. The foods allowable on the prescriptions are determined by extensive population studies that indicates nutrients that are commonly deficient in low-income families’ diets. There are a lot of requirements for foods to meet before they can be WIC allowable.


What’s funny about this food box proposal is that for years conservatives have resisted restricting food stamps from being used for stuff like candy bars and chewing gum because they have been allied with the food service industries. Now they want to limit it to a food box? Sheez… the irony.


Can you please show evidence of where conservatives resisted this? thanks.


I merely reported what I observed last year in a StopNShop in northwestern NJ (an exurban area with a wide range of economic conditions, but mostly White). I stood behind this hapless young woman and her mother as, item after item, she was sent back for the fruit cocktail in syrup rather than juice, the name-brand cold cereal, the sliced processed cheese, and yes, that loaf of manufactured bread. It took so long that a store manager came and helped me gather up my few items and opened another register to get me out of there. The young mother was still shuttling back and forth as I went home.


I remember it well and it is still active today here in AZ, so it must be elsewhere. Once a month commodity box, you bet. At the senior center where I live the residents gather up and drive to town and get their box. I haven’t signed up yet, my health is off and on for the days it’s delivered.