Maine Petitions To Ban Unhealthy Food Stamp Purchases

Maine healthcare officials requested Monday the federal government let them ban food stamp receipts from buying junk food and soda.

The federal government doesn’t allow states to ban food stamp recipients from buying junk food and soda. The Maine Department of Health and Human Service (DHHS), however, believes such a ban will greatly help the program and those in it. The food stamp program is officially known as The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Run by The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), it is the nation’s largest food assistance program.

DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew says the request is not likely, according to the Greenfield Daily Reporter. The USDA has never granted such a waiver. The department banned recipients from purchasing alcohol, drugs and many other consumer goods. Nevertheless, Mayhew and others in the state believe the ban is worth pursuing. Currently, 15 percent of residents receive food stamp benefits.