Maine governor has stated that if he cannot ban soda and sweets sales to SNAP recipients, he will eliminate SNAP benefits all together in the state.
Governor Paul LePage of Maine has threatened to end SNAP benefits in the state.
According to a report from The Huffington Post, Lepage has informed the Obama administration that, if the U.S. Department of Agriculture will not allow him to restrict the foods that can be purchased in the state with SNAP benefits, he will end the state’s administration of food stamps.
LePage has informed The Huffington Post that he does not want to end SNAP in Maine, he wants the USDA to make changes to the benefits. Last year, the governor requested that permission from the federal government to ban sodas and sweets from food stamp sales, but earlier this month his request was denied. A number of other states have made similar requests, and the USDA has denied those as well.
Following the denial of his request, LePage questioned why the administration went to great lengths to police the menus in schools with the National School Lunch Program, but chose not to eliminate junk food from the SNAP menu.
According to The Huffington Post, the USDA stated that there is no evidence that banning junk food sales to SNAP benefit holders would reduce obesity among Maine SNAP recipients. The USDA has granted Maine the opportunity to provide more information on the proposal for consideration.