The harvest box system that President Trump has proposed to replace welfare checks, besides being patronizing towards recipients, is unlikely to be more cost-effective than the current system, infers Annie Lowrey of The Atlantic. The delivery of an estimated 200 million heavy boxes a year could create huge transport costs and complications. The government is not guaranteed to do a better job at feeding poor families than they are themselves. Additionally, harvest boxes don’t account for countless dietary restrictions that would make the whole process more difficult. All in all, this program would create more problems than it would solve.
Harvest boxes would be a smart cost-saving initiative that would see a multitude of benefits, asserts Brandon Lipps in USA Today. The early criticism that this proposal has received is somewhat over the top. Partnering with local farmers, the government could provide a healthy and balanced diet that is 100% American-sourced. Each state would be able to customize how it distributes the food, as well as what products to include. Harvest boxes might save up to $129 billion over the next decade, which could benefit US taxpayers. Recipients would also still be able to choose their food with the remaining SNAP benefits.