PORTLAND, Maine - Maine health officials will ask Republican President Donald Trump's administration for permission to ban soda and junk food purchases with food stamps.
WGME-TV reports that Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew says she will once again ask for a waiver to do so. The federal government has never approved a waiver and has criticized Maine's administration of the federal food stamp program.
LePage last summer threatened to halt Maine's administration of the program if he can't ban recipients from buying products like Mars bars and Mountain Dew. The governor cited Maine's rising obesity and diabetes rates and said he's standing up to food lobbyists.
A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report on food stamps found soft drinks account for 5 percent of dollars spent on food.