House Assistant Minority Leader Nicholas J. Celebrezze (D-Parma) today issued the following statement in response to the state’s audit of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) released today:

“Food security is an essential tool in the fight to prevent hunger and reduce poverty among families, veterans, and those searching for better paying jobs and struggling to regain their footing during tough economic times.

“In a state that ranks among the worst in the nation for families forced to skip meals or eat less because they can’t afford to put food on the table, SNAP helps families provide critical nutrition for their children and loved ones.

“The reality is that too many Ohio families are struggling under tax shifting policies that benefit the wealthiest Ohioans at the expense of the middle class. 191,000 Ohioans are surviving on incomes of only $2 a day or less, while nearly one million Ohioans are living in “deep poverty”. Meanwhile, Ohio has fallen from 23rd to 26th in the nation for overall child well-being, with one in four kids living in poverty.

“Any strategies to combat fraud within SNAP should be pursued in a bipartisan manner and without demonizing the hardworking, low-income families that rely on the program to fight food insecurity and prevent hunger.

“I believe Ohio’s elected leaders should be focused first and foremost on ideas and solutions that provide economic stability for working people and pave a clear path to the middle class for the next generation of Ohioans.”

In January, Democratic leaders of the House and Senate announced their “Focus on The Future” agenda; an eight-bill package Democrats say will ensure economic stability for the next generation of working people in Ohio.    

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