food stamps

Mal Leary

Gov. Janet Mills has signed into law two bills that supporters say are aimed at reducing poverty in the state.

Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. House are expected to vote Thursday or Friday on the merits of this year's farm bill. The bill makes numerous changes to ongoing programs, including strengthening work requirements for people who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps.

Republican Second District Representative Bruce Poliquin says the bill will also offer some exemptions for Maine families who currently receive those SNAP benefits.

The Maine Supreme Court has turned back an attempt by Gov. Paul LePage to limit welfare benefits for some immigrants.

The case was brought forward by Euphrem Manirakiza, an asylum seeker from Burundi who was denied SNAP benefits, or food stamps, in 2015.

This denial happened despite the fact that two years earlier the Legislature specifically authorized such benefits for immigrants who, like Manirakiza, were unemployed but had legal work permits in the U.S.

LePage Still Wants To Ban Junk Food From Food Stamp Program

Dec 15, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine - Maine's Republican governor says he plans to bring up his proposal to prevent the use of food stamps for junk food during a visit to Washington, D.C.
Gov. Paul LePage, who blames the sugar lobby for resistance to his proposal, planned to travel to Washington for a holiday party this week.

AUGUSTA, Maine- The Maine Department of Health and Human Services says food stamp recipients are eligible for food replacement after a week of power outages.
DHHS said Thursday that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients may be able to receive a supplemental benefit to help cover food lost during this week's windstorm in Maine. WCSH-TV reports SNAP recipients' supplemental benefit cannot be more than their monthly benefit.
DHHS Commissioner Ricker Hamilton says it's important that people come together to help their neighbors.

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.

AUGUSTA, Maine - Under a new rule, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services will soon count gambling winnings as income in determining eligibility for the SNAP program, more commonly called food stamps.

“This rule specifically focuses upon food stamp eligibility if you have lottery ticket winnings of $5,000 or more in a calendar month,” says Maine DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew.

RICHMOND, Maine - For Gov. Paul LePage, a federal policy that permits food stamp benefits to be used to purchase sugary drinks, candy and junk food is just another example of what's wrong in Washington these days.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The federal agency that oversees and funds state food stamp programs says Mainers receiving food assistance could lose it if the state relinquishes administration of the program.

The statement, provided to U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, is in response to Gov. Paul LePage's threat to end the state's administration of a program that last month provided benefits to more than 195,000 Mainers.

"So states have the option of running a SNAP benefits program, but if a state decides not to, the federal government cannot step in and do this," Pingree says.

The LePage administration continues to tangle with the federal government for greater control over its welfare programs. Now the governor is threatening to give up administration of a $250 million food stamp program if the federal government doesn’t allow Maine to prohibit the purchase of sugary snacks and drinks with benefit cards.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew went before the U.S. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to urge changes in the food stamp program, seeking more flexibility for states to help reduce fraud.

She told the panel that federal officials have tried to block key proposals such as Maine’s voluntary program to put photos on EBT cards.

“They have raised a number of barriers. When we first decided we were going to implement, we had provided a number of documents to USDA to provide all of the background, how we intended to implement,” Mayhew says.

Mal Leary / MPBN

AUGUSTA, Maine - A new study by the governor's Office of Policy and Management concludes that the change requiring able-bodied adults without dependents to work, perform volunteer work, or be in a job training program to get food stamp benefits is working.

Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew says it's a policy change that is helping get people off welfare.

Thousands Dropped from Food Benefits in Recent Months

Jan 31, 2016

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

Maine has Fewest Residents on Food Stamps Since 2009

Oct 13, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine — State Health and Human Services officials say the number of Mainers enrolled in the food stamps program has dropped below 200,000 for the first time in more than six years.

Since reaching a high of a little more than 255,000 three years ago, the number of people enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamp program, declined to just over 199,000 in August.

AUGUSTA, Maine - A little more than six months ago, Gov. Paul LePage carried out one step in his campaign of welfare reform, directing Health and Human Services officials to abandon Maine's seven-year-old waiver policy that had allowed healthy, but poor, childless adults to receive federal food stamp benefits without first meeting a work requirement.