WASHINGTON, June 22, 2016 — Governor Paul LePage (R-ME) is gambling with the well-being of hundreds of thousands of lives and the prosperity of the state when he threatens to put a stop to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Maine. The threat is outrageous and irresponsible.
As of March, 190,243 people in Maine relied on SNAP to help put food on the table. This represents 14 percent of the population. By halting SNAP, Governor LePage would push these people deeper into poverty and deny them access to the nutrition they need.
Maine’s most vulnerable populations would suffer the most:
- Thirty-four percent of SNAP households contain children who need the program for their healthy growth and development.
- Thirty-three percent of SNAP households have non-elderly members with disabilities who rely on SNAP to make ends meet.
- Twenty-four percent of SNAP households have seniors who could be forced to choose between food and medicine.
Time and again, SNAP has proven to keep, or lift, people out of poverty while fueling local economies. Each dollar in federally funded SNAP benefits generates $1.79 in economic activity. Without the $20.9 million in federally funded monthly SNAP benefits, Maine would miss out on $37.4 million of economic activity. Research also shows that SNAP reduces food insecurity, improves dietary quality, protects against obesity, and improves health, especially among children.
Governor LePage is gambling with the federal food money Mainers need. It’s worse than a risky business, it’s a callous move.
Statement attributed to the Food Research & Action Center.
Note: Click here for recent state-by-state SNAP participation trends and links to research findings documenting SNAP’s effectiveness.
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