May 13, 2013

Bill to limit food stamp purchases: Is it junk?

LePage says no, don't let recipients buy candy and soda, but the plan falters, and the public seems split.

By Leslie Bridgers lbridgers@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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"You've got parents out there that have kids, maybe they want a candy bar or a lollipop now and then," said Troy Premus, 47, of Portland, who has been on food stamps for four years. "I think it's wrong."

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer

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Felicia Hoeflick, 22, is among people receiving food stamps who believes she should have the right to choose what she eats.

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer

"We don't have any place to keep things cool," said Rage, 43. He often buys frozen burritos and eats them when they thaw.

Rage said he finds it "condescending" that legislators are looking to put restrictions on what people can buy with food stamps.

"It's just another example of people on the other side of the window telling the poor people how to be healthy because we're stupid and don't know how to take care of ourselves," he said.

Krysta Shaw of Westbrook, however, admitted that she has a hard time making healthy choices. Shaw, 24, has been on food stamps since she got pregnant at 16.

"I've been trying to do this health kick now, so I can lose weight and get fit," she said.

If she wasn't allowed to buy junk food, she said, she'd probably have more success with her diet.

But there could be a better way to go about it than an outright ban, said Borg Casey, 40, of Peaks Island. He would rather see people on food stamps get a discount on nutritious foods.

"This is America. We are the land of the free," he said. 

Leslie Bridgers can be contacted at 791-6364 or at:



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