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Rep. Jarrells Urges Immediate Action to Claim Unspent Pandemic Food Benefits

February 21, 2024
Dontavius L. Jarrells News

COLUMBUS – State Rep. Dontavius Jarrells (D-Columbus) today is urging Ohio families to act swiftly to utilize unspent pandemic food benefits. A staggering $16M in benefits, provided to assist Ohio students during the pandemic, remains unclaimed and is in jeopardy of expiring starting March. These benefits, part of a federal initiative to combat childhood hunger during school closures, were distributed last summer but have not been utilized by an estimated 131K recipients.

"As we strive to support our communities, it's crucial that every Ohio family entitled to pandemic food benefits takes action. These funds are more than just numbers, they're a lifeline for many during these challenging times. Let's ensure no benefit goes unused and that every child has the nutrition they need to thrive," stated Rep. Jarrells.

Families are encouraged to make at least a $1 purchase with their pandemic EBT cards to extend the usability period for another nine months. Those who have lost their EBT card can request a replacement to ensure the benefits designated to aid low-income Ohio families do not go to waste.

Rep. Jarrells calls on advocates for the immediate action of families to claim these funds. He is also calling upon schools and community organizations to aid in disseminating this crucial information.

For replacement cards or inquiries, please contact 1-866-386-3071. For general program questions, the customer service line is available at 1-866-244-0071, Option 1.