Sen. Miramant’s joint resolution to expand SNAP benefits receives unanimous support
AUGUSTA — The Legislature on March 11 unanimously approved a joint resolution from Sen. David Miramant, D-Camden, calling on the United States Department of Agriculture to expand benefits in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SP 312, “Joint Resolution Memorializing the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service to Include Certain Nonfood Essentials in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program,” was presented by Sen. Miramant in front of the full Senate Chamber on Wednesday.
“The SNAP program is a vital lifeline for many Mainers. It provides them with access to healthy foods and gives them the opportunity to stay on their feet,” said Sen. Miramant. “However, the SNAP program currently fails to account for other important life essentials such as toilet paper, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and menstrual products. Without access to these nonfood essentials, people cannot equitably participate in work, the search for employment, or many other activities without the risk of embarrassment. People without access to nonfood essentials, especially menstrual products and toilet paper, may be forced to use inappropriate or unsafe alternatives. It’s time for this program to recognize the importance of these nonfood essentials.”
The joint resolution calls on the United States Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service to allow nutrition benefits to include non-food essentials, including toilet paper, soap, deodorant, toothpaste and menstrual products. Currently, SNAP provides benefits to supplement the food budget of qualifying recipients so they can purchase healthy food.