Dem Lawmakers Announce Bill To Support Ohio Families During Prolonged Federal Government Shutdowns
Further Washington dysfunction could lead to hunger crisis at home
January 31, 2019
 
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State Reps. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) and Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) today announced legislation that would ensure low-income families do not go hungry if future federal government shutdowns halt or delay funding for essential food assistance programs. The most recent month-long federal shutdown nearly threatened food security for more than 1.5 million Ohioans, including hundreds of thousands of children, as federal funds for food assistance programs began to dry up.


“Our federal workforce took the brunt of the most recent shutdown in Washington.  Ohio’s hungry, those who rely on help just to feed their children, will be at risk of losing food aid should the government shutdown again,” said Rep. Miller, “Ohio has to take the lead in feeding those who don’t know where they may find their next meal. We have a moral obligation to step up and ensure that no child goes hungry regardless of the federal government’s ability to provide timely appropriations.”


Congress and the White House recently agreed on a short-term deal to reopen the government for at least the next three weeks, but a failure to come to a long-term agreement would trigger another federal shutdown, something Reps. Miller and Holmes agree could be costly for many Ohio families.


“Assisting men and women to provide for their families when they cannot through no fault of their own is the right thing to do,” Holmes said, “The temporary assistance we have the means to provide will not only comfort those in need, but also curtail the economic impact a federal shutdown can have on our communities.”


Miller and Holmes’s bill would use a small amount of Ohio’s Rainy Day Fund to cover the cost of critical food and nutrition programs should the federal government fail to provide its share of funding for these programs.


The three food assistance programs covered under the legislation include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program.


SNAP increases the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households to help them buy a nutritionally adequate low-cost diet. In 2017, more than 1.5 million Ohio residents (13 percent of the population) received SNAP benefits. Almost 70 percent of Ohio SNAP recipients are families with children.


TANF is a program that provides cash assistance and supportive services to assist families with children under age 18.  More than 85,000 Ohioans rely on the TANF program. Almost all were children.


WIC is a program that provides federal grants to states for supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children up to age five who are found to be at nutritional risk. More than 235,000 women and children rely on WIC in Ohio.


The Ohio Rainy Day Fund currently has more than $2.6 billion in surplus.

 
 
 
  
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Dem Lawmakers Announce Bill To Support Ohio Families During Prolonged Federal Government Shutdowns

 

State Reps. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) and Glenn Holmes (D-McDonald) today announced legislation that would ensure low-income families do not go hungry if future federal government shutdowns halt or delay funding for essential food assistance programs. The most recent month-long federal shutdown nearly threatened food security for more than 1.5 million Ohioans, including hundreds of thousands of children, as federal funds for food assistance programs began to dry up. 



 
 

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