Cash welfare recipients in Maine may have spent portions of their Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) allotment at bowling alleys, a pet store and a tattoo parlor, according to Department of Health and Human Services records.
The Maine Wire has reported exclusively on evident abuses of Maine’s cash welfare program, including transactions occurring in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and in bars, liquor stores, cigarette shops and strip clubs.
An analysis of the data also reveals questionable transactions at Spare Time Recreation bowling alleys in Brunswick, Waterville, Hallowell and Lewiston. According to DHHS records, $880 in welfare cash has been accessed at those locations over the last three years.
Taxpayers have also footed the bill for entertainment sessions at the Woburn Bowladrome in Woburn, Mass. and the Newport Entertainment Center (NEC). Transactions at these locations amount to nearly $1,700 since 2011.
The TANF data also includes four transactions at a tattoo and body piercing studio in Windham, Maine. The studio, Windham Tattoo and Body Piercing, is named in transactions worth $300, $200, $140, and $100.
Lest humans have all the welfare fun, records show that in June of 2012, someone spent $20 in welfare cash at Pawsitively Pets in Scarborough.
Revelations regarding the use and abuse of Maine’s cash welfare program were made possible through The Maine Wire’s Freedom of Access Act request. The data, which has been made public in its entirety here, shows millions of dollars in questionable uses of taxpayer money.
Editor, Maine Wire