CITIZEN VOICES® Replace food stamps with food boxes?

Mar 01, 2018

As part of its federal budget, the Trump administration proposed giving the majority of food stamp recipients about half of their benefits in what it calls an “America’s Harvest Box”—a container of nonperishable food items such as milk, juice, grains, pasta, and canned meat, fruits and vegetables—instead of cash vouchers. Read more about this issue. 

"Do you favor a federal proposal that would replace food stamp vouchers with boxes of food?"

Discussion held on Citizens Count NH website and Facebook page February 21, 2018

221 citizens responded132 citizens were opposed to replacing food stamp vouchers with food boxes70 citizens were in favor of replacing food stamp vouchers with food boxes19 citizens said other

What Participants Said

No: 132 citizens were opposed to replacing food stamp vouchers with boxes of food.

  • “No. When i was unemployed and needed food stamps to feed my family, I bought fresh meat and vegetables, milk and eggs. Food that is healthy, not prepared and canned food with tons of additives and preservatives that are known to be unhealthy.”
  • “Saw it in the 50s. Most of the garbage they got was thrown out! It will never be a solution. They can't know what people have allergies or other dietary problems. Stupid idea!”
  • “Food stamps are for the poorest of the poor. They deserve to be treated like humans with decency and respect. They don't deserve to be shamed. I have never seen a person misuse EBT/SNAP.”

Yes: 70 citizens were in favor of replacing food stamp vouchers with boxes of food.

  • “Beggars can't be choosers and too many of these people abused the program … get a box of food instead and if you don't like it get a job and buy your own food.”
  • “This has my vote! If the tax payers are paying for you to eat (which I’m happy to contribute to for those in need) then we should 1) prioritize health and nutrition, 2) keep costs at the minimum, and 3) for the parents who can’t seem to provide food to their children, this will make sure there is actually food for the kids.”
  • “Yes… years ago you used to get food items that govt picked out when you were down on your luck. If you are asking for a government handout then they have the right to say what you can receive just like they do if you receive WIC.”

Other: 19 citizens addressed their comments to related questions and issues.
These included:

  • Modifying the proposal: “I am sure some people may like or benefit from a home delivery of their groceries, but most people would not like a stranger doing their food shopping for them. Maybe leave it as an option for the person to choose when signing up for help.”
  • Alternative suggestions: “Our military eats lots of boxed lunches and MREs.  Good for them, good for all.”
  • Personal stories: “I'm on Social Security in my later years and have a grandson that moved in. 60 years old I can't even get food stamps because they say I make too much Social Security.”

*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.

Read the full Facebook discussion of this question

Click here for details on our methodology


Chuck Malias
- Manchester

Thu, 03/01/2018 - 3:38pm

Abuse in welfare/SNAP is grossly exaggerated by certain media outlets and it shows in this survey. I also love the hypocrisy of critics. We often hear big government is bad and needs to stay out of our lives except in this instance where we tell a mother what type of juice she can serve her child. You really want to put a dent in fraud - start with the defense budget.

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