Ramos, Advocates Call For End To Gov. Kasich's Restrictions On Food Access
Say administration is picking and choosing who gets critical nutritional aide
October 13, 2015
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State Rep. Dan Ramos (D-Lorain) today criticized Gov. Kasich’s ill-timed and poorly targeted SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) restrictions that have forced 128,452 Ohioans off food stamps since October 2013.

“It is disheartening that thousands more jobless Ohioans are being denied critical food aide for them and their families. Hunger doesn’t just stop at the county line, and neither should efforts to support vulnerable Ohioans in their time of need,” said Ramos. “We have people who want and need jobs, but the jobs just aren’t there. This really underscores a struggling state economy that is failing those who can least afford it. Gov. Kasich should seek waivers for all eligible areas until Ohio’s economy improves everywhere.”

Current SNAP rules require nondisabled, childless adults to work or participate in a qualifying job-training program for a minimum of 20 hours per week. The federal government will waive the requirement to 34 counties and 12 municipalities in light of Ohio’s struggling economy, and there would be no additional cost to the state of Ohio to again seek the waiver.

“Ohio has pockets where the economic recovery never came, where people of all ages struggle to get consistent work and many are hungry,” said Policy Matters Ohio Senior Project Director Wendy Patton. “Federal rules make allowances for areas like this; Ohio should take advantage of the federal waivers in all cities and counties that qualify.”

Ohio participated in the statewide waiver program because of high employment rates from 2007 through 2013.  Since Ohio began applying for targeted counties in 2014, Ohio has missed out on over $464 million in federal assistance – or over 328 million meals – for hungry Ohioans.   

“The path that Ohio is on is the wrong path for our most vulnerable mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, friends and neighbors,” said Ohio Association of Foodbanks Director Lisa Hamler-Fugitt. “This food assistance would allow our hungry friends and neighbors to stand in the grocery store checkout lines – instead of forcing them to stand in food pantry and soup kitchen lines.”

Roughly ten years ago, 29 states were worse off than Ohio in food security. Today, Ohio ranks third in the nation for families forced to skip meals or eat less because they don’t have the money or resources to put food on their table. 

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