9,000 Mainers Lose Food Stamps Under New Rules

By Alanna Durkin, The Associated Press
AUGUSTA, Maine - Gov. Paul LePage's administration says more than 9,000 Maine residents have been removed from the food stamps program since it began enforcing work requirements last year.

The number of people dropped from the program exceeded the administration's expectations. Advocates say they fear it's forcing more residents to rely on food pantries.

Under the change, adults who are not disabled and do not have dependents cannot receive food stamps for longer than three months unless they work at least 20 hours a week, participate in a work-training program or meet volunteering requirements.

A Department of Health and Human Services spokesman told The Associated Press that 12,000 non-disabled adults were in the program before Jan. 1. That number has dropped to 2,680.