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Should NH prohibit the use of food stamps to purchase candy and soda?

Dec 02, 2015

BY: CCNH-LFDA Highlights

Maine's Department of Health and Human Services announced last month that it was seeking a federal waiver that would allow the state to prohibit the use of SNAP benefits to purchase 'junk food' such as candy and soft drinks.

Maine DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew said she believes the ban "will make it that much easier for individuals and families to get on the road to healthy eating by making more dollars available for healthy purchases."

Supporters note that a majority of SNAP recipients are also eligible for Medicaid, and argue that obesity-related health claims impose a high cost on taxpayers.

Opponents counter that the burden would be placed on retailers to enforce the ban, and question whether it would truly reduce obesity or positively impact public health.

The US Department of Agriculture has refused previous requests by other states for a similar waiver. There is currently no move in NH to institute a similar ban.

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