Hoosiers weigh in on proposed SNAP changes

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- President Trump introduced his proposed 2019 budget this week that would include changes to a program more than 600,000 Hoosiers use to put food on the table.

The budget request would replace part of benefits people receive through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Progam, or 'SNAP,' with a food delivery box program. It would also eliminate a food box program for seniors and roll it into one program. The administration said the changes would save taxpayer money.

Some Hoosiers working in nutrition assistance say the changes would be dangerous.

"It also provides a sense of dignity for clients that are able to go to the grocery store just like you or I," Emily Weikert Bryant, the executive director of Feeding Indiana's Hungry, said.

Weikert Bryant said the proposal would be detrimental to Hoosiers at risk of hunger. She said it would cut a third of existing funding over ten years, impact around 90 percent of clients.

"We know that often the President's budget is often dead on arrival when it gets to Congress but this is the President's blueprint," she said.

Others argue in support of the proposal.

“Nobody wants to see anybody go hungry. I mean I want to make that clear. I think we're a strong enough nation we can help those that truly need help, but for too many it's become a way of life and they've become almost entitled," State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) said.

Lucas said the food box delivery would be more nutritious and added that federal government's current path with it's deficit is not sustainable.

“We either start pulling it in, reigning it in now, getting a handle on it and getting people, you know, turn the ship around, or when it does crash then it'll be ten times worse," he said.

Nothing is set in stone. Leaders from both parties have voiced doubts about the president's overall proposed budget and the administration has not detailed specifically how families would receive the boxes of food.