Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media, File Photo

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it wants feedback on how to get a certain segment of Americans out of poverty and off the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), also known as food stamps.

The Trump administration is proposing a major shake-up in one of the country's most important "safety net" programs, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. Under the proposal, most SNAP recipients would lose much of their ability to choose the food they buy with their SNAP benefits.

The proposal is included in the Trump administration budget request for fiscal year 2019. It would require approval from Congress.

LEIGH PATERSON / Harvest Public Media, File Photo

About 16.4 million people who receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits would not have a say in how to spend about half of their monthly benefits under President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the 2019 fiscal year.

Low-income Americans who receive at least $90 a month would see "about half" of their benefits come in the form of a nonperishable, American-grown “USDA Foods package,” or a "Harvest Box," according to a news release Monday from the USDA, which runs SNAP.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

In the coming months, Congress will map out how it’ll spend upwards of $500 billion on food and farm programs over the next five years.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media/File photo

The delivery of federal food benefits for millions of low-income people is likely to change after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced last week it will allow states more flexibility in how they dole out the money.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

President Trump's proposed 2018 budget was released on Tuesday. It includes cuts to benefit programs including Medicaid, farm subsidies and welfare benefits.

SNAP Official Worries About Food Stamp Cuts

Jan 23, 2017
U.S. Department of Agriculture / flickr Creative Commons

The food stamps program, officially called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), helps about 43 million people buy food. But the administrator currently in charge of SNAP is worried that assistance could soon be cut.

Kevin Concannon is the USDA’s Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services. He says a majority of the SNAP recipients hold jobs, but they don’t make much money.

Governor Sam Brownback and a federal official disagreed publicly on Monday about how food stamp funds ought to be distributed to states.

Their disagreement took place at a Topeka news conference to announce a federal grant.

Heartland Health Monitor's Jim McLean reports...

Food Assistance Reduced For 316,000 Kansans

Nov 1, 2013
U.S. Department of Agriculture / flickr Creative Commons

The end of October brings an end to a boost in the amount of federal food assistance that's been helping to feed 316,000 Kansans for the past four years. The extra benefits were part of the stimulus bill Congress passed in 2009 to help people recover from the recession.

Barb LaClair, who studies hunger issues at the non-profit Kansas Health Institute, says caseloads suggest low-income Kansans still aren’t seeing a recovery. She says they’re going to have no choice but to rely even more on food banks and food pantries, which are already overextended.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families will stop using federal grants to help low-income residents sign up for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

"We simply do not believe taxpayer dollars should be used to recruit people to be on welfare," said DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed.

The federal program had awarded grants to five groups across Kansas, to help low-income residents apply for SNAP funds.  The state notified the groups of the change on September 30, one day before the grants were to be renewed.