Altimont Mark Wilks is the owner of Carmen’s Corner Store in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Nearly two decades ago, Altimont was arrested on drug charges and spent time in jail. When he got out, he rebuilt his life, became involved in his community, and with help from his mother, opened Carmen’s. Unfortunately his business suffers, because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) prevents him from ever accepting SNAP benefits as a form of payment at Carmen’s.
In August 2023, Altimont teamed up with IJ to file a federal lawsuit against the USDA, challenging its policy of permanently prohibiting anyone with certain crimes in their past from ever participating in the SNAP program.
Maryland small business owner files federal lawsuit against USDA over policy of permanent punishment for crime for which he already served his time
When the government judges someone’s integrity, it should do so based on who they are today—not who they were 20 years ago. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), however, imposes a permanent ban from…