The administration has proposed an overhaul of SNAP benefits

FOOD INSECURITY | Instead of giving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participants their cash benefits and allowing them the autonomy to use that money to buy the foods they know will sustain their household, the administration has proposed the government pick the food it believes these families should be eating and send them a “Harvest Box”. (NYT, 2/13)

The proposal seemed like a radical overhaul of the country’s core food assistance program — once called food stamps but now commonly known as SNAP. The idea was to shave about $21 billion a year from the federal deficit over the next 10 years. But the reaction was immediate, and largely negative.

Democrats claimed the plan shackled the poor while business groups, led by big food retailers, would stand to lose billions of dollars in lost SNAP business. The head of one trade association typically supportive of President Trump’s economic policies accused the administration of reneging on its pledge to cut “red tape and regulations.”

– A Virginia farm with a history of displaying signs with social justice messages is responding to the backlash they recently received from a “resist white supremacy” message. (WaPo, 2/14)

Howard University Joins Digital Effort To Celebrate Frederick Douglass Bicentennial (WAMU, 2/14)

HEALTH | New research suggests that the rise of the opioid epidemic is not primarily caused by economic distress. The study’s author argues that the increase in access to illegal opiods is the biggest contributor. (Citylab, 2/14)

IMMIGRATIONWhat a Question About Citizenship on the U.S. Census Could Mean (Yes! Magazine, 2/12)

PHILANTHROPY |  Rick Moyers, former vice president for programs and communications at Meyer Foundation, argues that we need both strategic and checkbook philanthropy to support the nonprofits and communities we are seeking to help. (CEP, 2/13)

ECONOMYReport: Data centers worth $10.2 billion to Virginia economy (InsideNOVA, 2/14)

A Wakanda-themed pop-up bar is coming to U Street this weekend to celebrate the opening of the Black Panther movie.

– Kendra