Food Stamp Information

New Video Shows Food Stamps Are More Important Than Ever

This year Congress is making important decisions about the future of food stamps when it renews the Food Stamp Program.  A new video on the program’s 30-year history shows why our nation’s “first line of defense against hunger” remains vitally important today.

Produced by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonpartisan policy institute in Washington, DC, the video is narrated by the actor Jeff Bridges and includes interviews with some people who helped establish the modern Food Stamp Program as well as people who benefit from it. 

The video contains striking footage from a 1968 TV documentary on hunger in America, which showed children suffering from diseases related to severe malnutrition that usually are thought of as occurring only in developing countries.  “You’d see skinny legs, skinny arms, shrunken facial features, and a bloated belly — as a pediatrician, that’s what really got my attention,” recalls Dr. Aaron Shirley, whose investigations of poor areas of the country helped form the basis of the documentary. 

In an interview, former senator George McGovern describes the shame he felt watching the documentary with his family, knowing that he hadn’t used his power as a U.S. senator to fight this problem.  The very next day, McGovern introduced a resolution in the Senate to create a committee to investigate hunger in America. 

That committee’s work led to the landmark Food Stamp Act of 1977, which made the Food Stamp Program more efficient and more accessible to the poor.  Food stamps had existed as early as the Great Depression, but until the 1977 law, people had to pay for the stamps.  Many of the people who most needed food stamps were too poor to afford them. 

The new, stronger Food Stamp Program had an enormous impact in reducing hunger and malnutrition.  “It was just amazing” to see the improvement in poor people once food stamps were introduced, Dr. Shirley recalls.

The power of food stamps also comes through in interviews with current and former food stamp recipients, who talk about the difference that food stamps have made in their lives. 

Yet despite the great progress we have made, 35 million Americans — including one in six American children — don’t have access to enough food.  And charities, churches, and local governments can’t keep up with the growing need. 

Local groups can use the video to encourage Congress to improve food stamps, as well as to energize local anti-hunger efforts.  For example, groups can organize a viewing of the video for Member of Congress or state and local government representatives.  Also, groups can show it at meetings or arrange to have the video played in local high school social studies classes.

The video, “Making America Stronger: The U.S. Food Stamp Program,” can be viewed online at

Food Stamp Tool Kit

If you worry about whether you will have enough food to eat every month, there is a federal program that can help take that burden from your shoulders. Unfortunately, the program that can help you has an unfounded stigma associated with it. The question you have to ask yourself is, “What can I do to provide enough food to keep myself and my family healthy?” If the answer is that you would do anything to make sure there was enough food in your house, then consider applying for food stamps. It is our government’s way to acknowledge that some of our neighbors need help – and allows those of us who can help to help, through our taxes, to make sure no one goes hungry.

Most people think of Food Stamps as a welfare program when in fact, it is a nutrition program. Much like the widely acceptable “meals on wheels” programs for senior citizens or school breakfast and lunch programs for children, Food Stamps are intended to help families and individuals acquire the food they need to remain healthy.

Food Stamps are provided to families and individuals who do not have enough money to put food on the table every day, and on the following pages, you will find the information you need to help you understand the Food Stamp program, how you can apply for food stamps and the documentation you need to have with you when you apply. To help you find out if you may be eligible for food stamps before going through the application process, there is a web site that can help you.

If you have access to the internet (or go to your local public library) you can visit a web site provided by USDA to help you determine whether you may be eligible to receive food stamps. This will help you decide whether to apply for food stamps.

To access this web site go to and click on Agencies and Offices on the top menu bar. Scroll down and click on “Food & Nutrition Service” on the right of the Food & Nutrition Service page, you can click on “On-line Prescreening Tool” and follow the simple on screen directions.

This Tool Kit will further explain the Food Stamp rules in Ohio, who is eligible for Food Stamps and what the resource requirements are. It takes you, the potential applicant, and emergency food assistance providers through the application and recertification process. It helps to create an understanding of the hearing process and what you should do if you believe a mistake has been made in determining your food stamp benefits. This Tool Kit describes how to access the system to actually get groceries, including specifics for the elderly, homeless, legal immigrants and disabled.

Printer friendly PDF's

Food Stamp Tool Kit  

Documentation Check List (documents you will need to apply) 

Eligibility Income Levels 2006

Myths and Facts about Food Stamp Benefits and the Homeless (provided by the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service)

Food Stamp Program

The Food Stamp Program is federally funded. It is the first line of defense against hunger enabling low-income families to buy nutritious food. In Ohio, these benefits are received in the form of the New Ohio Direction Card. This card is used to purchase food items at authorized retail food stores. Benefits are electronically transferred to the card at the beginning of each month. To receive this benefit you must apply at your local County Department of Job and Family Services. More information and an application for Food Stamps can be found at the following link: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Office of Family Stability.

OASHF has provided information on the Food Stamp Card conversion.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact us (614.221.4336).

Further updates will be posted here on the conversion.


Additional Information on the Food Stamp Program

The United State Department of Agriculture Food Nutrition Service provides an outreach program to provide information on the Food Stamp Program free of charge. At this site, not only can you find answers about the Food Stamp Program but the Food Nutrition Service program will provide your organization with free informational pamphlets, posters, and flyers. To see if you are eligible, USDA provides an on-line pre-screening tool (link provided below).

Food Nutrition Service

See if you are eligible.



Food Stamp Waiver

On February 16th the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services issued the attached transmittal to the County Department of Job and Family Services regarding the approval by USDA for the state to expand it state’s Food Stamp waiver of the able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD) work requirement. As you may recall this items was part of our 2006/2007 State Budget priorities.

The approval of this waiver adds an additional 26 counties that have been approved on top of the 35 already approved. The addition of these 26 counties has been approved due to a lack of sufficient jobs in the area. In all ABAWD individuals residing in 61 counties are now covered by this waiver. I have bolded the counties that are currently included in the waiver.

Please help get the word out – more information to follow soon.

Here is the link to the letter.....


Amended Sub. H.B. 66, effective July 1, 2005, required Ohio to request from the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) a waiver of the applicability of the work requirements outlined in OAC rule 5101:4-3-20 for individuals defined as able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) who are residing in a county where the average unemployment rate for twelve recent calendar months exceeded ten per cent or residing in a county that does not have sufficient jobs to provide employment for these individuals.

Previously, under Amended Sub. H.B. 95, Ohio was required to request a waiver of the work requirement based on ABAWD individuals residing in a county with an unemployment rate over ten percent.

FNS approved a waiver of the ABAWD work requirements in the following 35 counties based on having an unemployment rate of 20 percent above the national average for the 24-month period of calendar years 2003 and 2004, or 6.91 percent (5.76 national average multiplied by 120 percent), supporting a claim of lack of sufficient jobs: Adams, Allen, Ashland, Ashtabula, Brown, Carroll, Clark, Columbiana, Coshocton, Crawford, Gallia, Guernsey, Harrison, Hocking, Huron, Jackson, Jefferson, Lucas, Mahoning, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Ottawa, Perry, Pike, Richland, Ross, Sandusky, Scioto, Seneca, Trumbull, Vinton, and Williams counties. This waiver was effective January 1, 2006 and will expire June 30, 2006.

We have received FNS approval to waive an additional 26 counties from the ABAWD time- limited work requirement due to lack of sufficient jobs in these counties.

Effective March 1, 2006 through June 30, 2006, the additional counties waived are as follows: Athens, Belmont, Champaign, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fayette, Fulton, Henry, Highland, Holmes, Knox, Lawrence, Madison, Marion, Miami, Montgomery, Morrow, Pickaway, Preble, Putnam, Stark, Tuscarawas, Washington, Wood and Wyandot.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, 614/221-4336

If you have Medicare and get food stamps, you need to know:

Below are flyers, provided by the United Stated Department of Agriculture, listing the local offices by Region. To view the PDF file please click on the counties served. OASHF encourages local pantries to download these, posting them for your clients' use.

Regional Foodbanks Counties Served
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank Carroll, Holmes, Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit, Tuscarawas, Wayne
Cleveland Foodbank, Inc. Ashland, Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Richland
The Foodbank, Inc. Greene, Montgomery, Preble
FreestoreFoodbank Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, Pike, Scioto
Mid-Ohio FoodBank Belmont, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Fayette, Franklin, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Knox, Licking, Madison, Marion, Monroe, Morrow, Muskingum, Noble, Pickaway, Ross, Union
Second Harvest Foodbank of Clark, Champaign, & Logan Cos. Champaign, Clark, Logan
Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio Crawford, Erie, Huron, Lorain
Second Harvest Foodbank of Southeastern Ohio Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Meigs, Morgan, Perry, Vinton, Washington
Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley Columbiana, Mahoning, Trumbull
Shared Harvest Foodbank Butler, Darke, Lawrence, Miami, Preble, Warren
Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams
West Ohio Food Bank Allen, Auglaize, Hancock, Hardin, Mercer, Paulding, Putnam, Shelby, Seneca, Van Wert, Wyandot


Ohio State Legal Services Association

The Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA) provides legal information to you and your clients' on issues including accessing Federally and State funded Programs including Food Stamps, WIC, Medicaid, and Social Security. Additionally, OSLSA provides referrals for attorneys at free or low cost to the clients in Columbus and South East Ohio. To contact the OSLSA, please call 1-614-221-7201 or visit their web site To receive referral information across Ohio, please call 1-866-LAWOHIO or go on-line:

© Copyright 2005. No part may be reproduced without expressed written permission

of the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks.