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Rep. Adam Miller Calls for Predictability in Food Aid in Face of Continued Washington Dysfunction

April 9, 2024
Adam C. Miller News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Adam Miller (D-Columbus) today gave sponsor testimony before the Ohio House Families and Aging Committee on House Bill (HB) 288.  The legislation would ensure low-income families do not go hungry as federal programs could stop should the federal government shut down this fall or in the future.

“A government shutdown would take away the ability of many Ohioans to meet their nutritional needs,” said Rep. Miller.  “When Washington stalls, Ohio has the resources and the moral obligation to step in and bridge the gap ensuring our children are fed.”

HB 288 requires Ohio to use its Budget Stabilization Fund (Rainy Day Fund) to cover the federal portion of food aid for Ohioans if the federal government shuts down.  Standard practice has been that the federal government would reimburse the state once appropriations return.  At that point, the Rainy Day Fund would be made whole.

The three main food aid programs are: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program. More than 1.5M Ohioans rely on them for basic food needs.

SNAP increases the food purchasing power of eligible low-income households to help them buy a nutritionally adequate low-cost diet. SNAP recipients in Ohio as of June 2023 were 1,348,228 individuals in 701,150 households.

TANF is a program that provides cash assistance and supportive services to assist families with children under age 18.  More than 45K Ohioans rely on the TANF program.  Almost all were children.

WIC is a program 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 175K women and children rely on WIC in Ohio.

The Ohio Rainy Day Fund currently has more than $3.7B in surplus.