State Rep. Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Toledo) today urged the U.S. Senate to pass legislation to end the federal government shutdown, which currently threatens food security for thousands of Ohio children and families as federal funding for food assistance programs runs out.
“The impact of this government shutdown is felt all across our economy, especially among the most vulnerable in our communities: children, seniors and Ohioans living with disabilities. I urge the U.S. Senate to stop playing politics and reopen the government,” said Rep. Hicks-Hudson.
To ensure Ohio families have access to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits during the shutdown, the Ohio Office of Family Assistance has issued early benefits for February 2019. This means no additional benefits will go out until March at the earliest.
“Too many families continue to work a job or multiple jobs but still struggle to earn enough to put food on the table,” added Hicks-Hudson. “If the shutdown continues, more Ohioans will be forced to sacrifice nutritious food to pay for utilities, medicine and medical care, housing, and more. That’s just not right.”
Nearly 2 million Ohioans struggle with hunger, including more than half a million Ohio children. A federal food assistance freeze could jeopardize funding for more than 32,000 children in Lucas County alone.