SNAP revision would include a staples box to address nutrition deficiencies


In Washington, D.C., the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommended Congress consider America’s Harvest Box, proposed in the president’s FY2019 budget request, as a step toward ensuring that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants get the grains, vegetables, beans, and fruit they need to stay healthy.

The budget request proposes that more than 80 percent of SNAP recipients would receive a monthly America’s Harvest Box with items such as juice, grains, ready-eat-cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans, and canned fruits and vegetables, which would replace about half of their current SNAP benefits. The remaining SNAP benefits would go on debit cards to be used in grocery stores.

SNAP participants choosing solely from Healthy Staples would likely get more than twice the fiber, iron, vitamin E, and folate; almost twice the potassium, calcium, and magnesium; almost 40 percent more vitamin D; and more than five times more beta-carotene than a typical American diet.