COLUMBUS – State Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) announced that the State Controlling Board approved $15 million from Democrats’ American Rescue Plan Act to support foodbanks across Ohio.
“Rising housing and energy costs mean many Ohioans have become more reliant on their local foodbanks to keep food on the table,” said Rep. Russo. “The long-overdue funding released today to support foodbanks is an important first step in making sure foodbanks have the resources needed to meet increased demand and continue to be a reliable safety net for our most vulnerable constituents and communities. Food insecurity is not going away, and we can and should do more to ensure these federal relief funds are quickly getting to the community organizations directly supporting Ohioans who are still struggling to make ends meet.”
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, foodbanks have played a significant role in providing food to Ohioans in need. Foodbanks have asked for more than $50 million in emergency funding from the American Rescue Plan Act to offset this increased demand and keep shelves stocked. This $15 million is welcome assistance, but more funds still need to be allocated to ensure food security for Ohio families.
Other approved items include:
1. $18.2 million to aid the Ohio Department of Health and local health departments’ COVID-19 vaccine administration efforts
2. Nearly $2.1 million to replace emergency communications equipment for Ohio Public Television and Radio
3. $930,000 to provide cribs, safe sleep kits, and safe sleep education information for Ohio families
4. $3 million to protect the Ohio poultry industry by preventing the spread of the Avian flu