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Thousands Dropped from Food Benefits in Recent Months

    PORTLAND, Maine (AP) _ Maine has used work requirements to remove thousands of residents from its food stamp rolls over the past 15 months.

    The number of healthy, childless adults receiving food stamps was 13,589 on Nov. 1, 2014. Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration then began enforcing work and volunteer requirements. The number was reduced to 1,206 by Nov. 15 of last year.

    The drop in food stamps recipients in Maine preceded changes at the federal level. More than 1 million residents in 21 states will face losing food stamps if they don't meet work requirements that began this month.

    Advocates for Maine's poor say the work requirements have negatively impacted low-income residents in a state where food security already is below average. The governor's office disagrees, and points to a falling unemployment rate.