Maximize food aid to feed more Ohioans
Posted August 19, 2019 in Press Releases
Governor DeWine has an opportunity to expand the economic security of children, adults, and families by maximizing federal food and nutrition assistance for communities across the state. Ohioans in 41 counties and eight cities with high unemployment would get needed help affording food if the DeWine administration requests a waiver on time limits for federal food aid, says Policy Matters Ohio.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) makes sure low-wage workers, children and families don’t go hungry. The program mandates that childless adults, between 18 and 49 who are not disabled, spend at least 80 hours a month working, or participating in job training or work-related activities. Those who don’t meet the requirement may receive aid for just three months over a three-year period. States can ask the federal government to waive the time limit for residents of places with high unemployment.
“All Ohioans need access to nutritious food,” said Policy Matters researcher Will Petrik. “Removing supports like food creates barriers to maintaining or finding employment. We should be making it easier for people to qualify, not harder.”
Counties and cities with unemployment rates 20% above the national average are eligible for a waiver in fiscal year 2020. The eligible counties and cities are listed below, those in italics were not included in the 2019 waiver. Additionally 38 counties adjacent to eligible counties that share similar economic characteristics may also be eligible for a waiver in 2020. The Policy Matters reports contains maps showing which counties have been included in past waivers and which are currently eligible.
Eligible counties, fiscal year 2020:
• Adams • Ashtabula • Athens • Belmont • Brown
• Carroll • Clinton • Columbiana • Coshocton • Crawford
• Cuyahoga • Erie • Gallia • Guernsey • Harrison
• Henry • Highland • Hocking • Huron • Jackson
• Jefferson • Lake • Lawrence • Lorain • Lucas
• Mahoning • Meigs • Monroe • Morgan • Muskingum
• Noble • Ottawa • Perry • Pike • Richland
• Scioto • Stark • Summit • Trumbull • Vinton
• Dayton • Lima • Marion • Middletown • Riverside
• Springfield • Trotwood • Xenia
“In the past, Ohio tended to overlook communities of color when applying for waivers,” Petrik said. “The DeWine administration should make sure every Ohioan, whether they are black, white or brown, or live in the city or a rural community, gets enough to eat.”