MINOCQUA - A major 'safety net' resource used by nearly 800,000 people in Wisconsin could get cut in half.
The Trump Administration wants to radically change SNAP - the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formally known as food stamps.
" It's a fundamental lifeline," said St. Germain Sentury Foods owner David Weber.
Last Monday Weber found out a lifeline for some of his customers was at risk.
" In its current form it's a very vital necessity for the families," said Weber.
Weber's store has supported the current debit card style SNAP or food stamp program since it started in the 60s. However, the Trump administration wants to radically change SNAP to a food box delivery styled program in its 2019 budget.
" The boxes people would receive, would contain mostly shelve stable food it doesn't [provide] fresh vegetables," said Weber.
With the change low- income Americans receiving at least $90 a month would get half their benefits in the form of a "USDA Foods package."
" There may be a need for change for the SNAP program, but I'm not sure the proposed changes are the way to go," said Weber.
The box would include shelf stable milk, ready to eat cereals, pasta, peanut butter, and beans, but no fruits or vegetables.
" [It's a] disservice to the community and the people who receive that benefit," said Weber.
Weber said right now the current SNAP program allows people to get the food their families need when they need it. Instead of the nearly 800,000 SNAP users in Wisconsin needing to wait for a pre-arranged box delivery. " If there is going to be changes they need to be realistic changes that won't hurt people," said Weber.
Grocers all over the country say taking away the debit card SNAP program would take money out of local economies. Weber agrees.
" We're a family locally own business so for the [every]dollar spent [in the store] it stays in the community or neighboring community," said Weber.
Weber knows the highs and lows of longtime customers and he knows the challenges the proposed SNAP changes will bring.
" It won't be easy seeing people in need when you live in a small community it's a difficult thing," said Weber.
The budget request also increases spending for the military and the border wall.
President Trump would need at least 60 Senate votes for the budget to pass.
Story By: Phylicia Ashley