Trump's Blue Apron-style food boxes for the poor could slash spending at Walmart and dollar stores

  • The Trump administration is proposing to replace cash benefits for food with boxed groceries, which would reduce low-income families' food spending.
  • The proposal would impact more than 16 million people — or roughly 81% of those receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, according to the Department of Agriculture.
  • Walmart, the largest grocer in the US, could feel the biggest impact. About 18% of all food stamps were redeemed at Walmart in 2013, which is the latest year that the company disclosed that figure. 

The Trump administration wants to reduce the amount of cash it pays in food stamp benefits to low-income families, and send them boxes of food instead.

The White House says the program, called "America's Harvest Box," would save taxpayers $214 billion over a decade.

But those savings could come at a staggering cost to dollar stores, Walmart, and other retailers that serve low-income families.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney has compared "America's Harvest Box" to Blue Apron, a meal-kit service that delivers fresh produce and meat to customers' doorsteps.

But unlike Blue Apron, "America's Harvest Box" would contain mostly packaged goods like "shelf-stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, beans and canned fruit, vegetables, and meat, poultry or fish," according to the president's budget proposal.

RELATED: Take an inside look at scenes from the day President Donald Trump's budget proposal was rolled out:

 

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Scenes from the day President Donald Trump's budget proposal was rolled out
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Scenes from the day President Donald Trump's budget proposal was rolled out
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to attendees as he departs his infrastructure initiative meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House budget director Mick Mulvaney speaks during a news briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas
New copies of President Donald Trump's Budget for the U.S. Government for the Fiscal Year 2019 lay on a display table at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/ Leah Millis
U.S. Government Publishing Office employees BethAnn Telford, Bernie Morrison, Stephen Morbley and Darlene Matthews unpack and arrange new copies of President Donald Trump's Budget for the U.S. Government for the Fiscal Year 2019 on a display table at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
Ivanka Trump attends U.S. President Donald Trump's infrastructure meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attends U.S. President Donald Trump's infrastructure meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a meeting on his infrastructure initiative at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. Government Publishing Office employee Darlene Matthews arranges new copies of President Donald Trump's Budget for the U.S. Government for the Fiscal Year 2019 at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. Government Publishing Office employees BethAnn Telford, left, and Bernie Morrison unpack new copies of President Donald Trump's Budget for the U.S. Government for the Fiscal Year 2019 at the U.S. Government Publishing Office in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis
U.S. President Donald Trump holds a meeting on his infrastructure initiative at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
Copies of the President Trump's FY 2019 budget proposal are delivered to the U.S. House Budget Committee offices on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Ivanka Trump attends U.S. President Donald Trump's infrastructure meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: Journalists photograph the arrival of printed copies of U.S. President Donald Trump's fiscal year 2019 budget at the House Budget Committee on Capitol Hill February 12, 2018 in Washington, DC. The budget is expected to contain funding requests for the building of a wall on the southern border of the U.S., infrastructure projects, and increased military funding. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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The proposal would impact more than 16 million people — or roughly 81% of those receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, according to the Department of Agriculture.

If the program is approved, it would slash the amount of cash those shoppers have to spend on food, directly impacting the stores they frequent. 

Walmart, the largest grocer in the US, could feel the biggest impact. About 18% of all food stamps were redeemed at Walmart in 2013, which is the latest year that the company disclosed that figure. 

At dollar stores including Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree, food stamps account for roughly 5% of total sales, Bloomberg reports, citing Gordon Haskett Research Advisors analyst Chuck Grom.

Dollar Tree, which also owns Family Dollar, declined to comment on the proposal. Walmart and Dollar General did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

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