A new study finds Mainers are increasingly relying on food pantries for survival, and not for emergencies.

One in four respondents to a survey commissioned by hunger relief agencies reported being dropped from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program in the past year.

The groups behind the study say those kicked off food stamps due to restrictions instituted by Republican Gov. Paul LePage's administration are now relying on overworked charities. LePage claims his administration has gotten welfare recipients into jobs.

Maine has reinstituted a three-month limit on food stamps for certain people between the ages of 18 and 50.

Social work agency Preble Street said Maine had 40 food pantries when the organization started four decades ago.

Now, Maine has at least 400 pantries feeding more than 15 percent of Maine's households.   —PORTLAND, Maine (AP)

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