The Faces of Hunger in Ohio


The Faces of Hunger 2003 (printer friendly PDF file link.)

The following is information from Hunger in Ohio 2003 (printer friendly PDF file link.)

As Ohio continues to face economic turmoil, the number of individuals and families served by the emergency food assistance network is increasing dramatically. During a four week period during July and August 2003, OASHF’s annual No Name, Please! Survey was conducted. Respondent households came from all 12 regional foodbanks, representing 8,120 households. This survey is viewed as a snap-shot of the community served through the emergency food assistance network. These are the findings.


The No Name, Please! Survey was completed by 8,120 households.

Of those responding:


75% were females

25% were males

23,533 individuals lived in these households.

I have Downs Syndrome and the job I had working for extra money is not able to keep me working there because they are running low on funds that helped to pay me.


My house burnt down in January 2002. I have four children and one doesn’t live with me. It took me almost a year to get on my feet and out of my parent’s house. My husband and I can not find proper jobs that will support our children. This place really helps at the end of the month. Thank you so much for your help. If I ever become rich you will be the first place I would support.

Of responding households:

43% were children, 17 years-old or younger

49% were adults, 18 to 59 years of age

8% were adults, 60 years of age or older

The 2003 Survey continues to find households combining their resources with the addition of grandchildren, relatives, in-laws, and friends who have hit hard times.


According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the 2003 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines for a family of 3 was $15,260 per year ($1,272 per month). The Survey found 97% of these households living at or below poverty level.

Monthly income levels of responding households:

21% under $250

18% between $250 & $500

24% between $501 & $750

14% between $751 & $1000

8% between $1001 & $1250

11% between $1251 or more


Average income of these households:

$713.11 Monthly or $8,557.32 Annually

The Survey found 13,192 adults, ages 18 or older, living in these households reported:


39% at least one adult not working

28% at least one adult working in some capacity

26% at least one adult was disabled

7% at least one adult was retired


The Survey found 8,802 able-bodied adults (total adults, less retired and disabled), living in these households:


58% are not working

22% are working full-time

13% are working part-time

7% are working sometimes


97% of responding households reported income at or below the poverty level, yet participation in state and federal assistance programs remains low. These households, based on income alone, appear to be categorically eligible to receive Food Stamp benefits, Medicaid, Child Care Assistance, and Child and Adult Nutrition Services.


Households reporting receiving benefits:

61% Food Stamps

53% Medicaid



15% Free/Reduced Price School Meals for Kids


10% Disability Assistance

2% Child Care Vouchers

2% Meals on Wheels/Senior Nutrition Program

1% Summer/Child Care Meals

I’m a senior in high school. I just started housekeeping, I have a baby 1 year old. My boyfriend has a job but is not able to work. He has Epileptic Seizures that are very scary. Welfare said I wasn’t eligible for assistance. I need help with my deposits on utilities. My mother gave us the use of her house as long as we pay utilities. I need job training and assistance bad. Thanks again. R. T.


Households reporting their benefits had been reduced, cut off, or sanctioned in the past 12 months:


Cut off or Reduced



19% 5%

Food Stamps

40% 10%


31% 2%


32% 23%

Disability Assistance

33% 8%

Child Care

21% 39%


Households reported their average monthly Food Stamps allotment for a family of 3 was: $171.30


According to the USDA Food Stamp Guidelines, the maximum allocation for a family of 3 was: $371

Education level of survey respondents:

41% reported graduating from high school

37% did not finish high school

13% furthered their education by attending a college or trade school

9% had received their GED

Survey respondents were asked to respond to the following open ended questions. Multiple responses were allowed.


What do you and your family need in order NOT

to have to come to the food pantry?


Respondent households reported they need:


37% Food Stamp assistance

35% a full-time job

30% a better job

23% assistance with utilities

19% reliable transportation


What happened in your life that caused you to come to the food pantry?

Respondent households reported they:

50% ran out of food

42% ran out of money

31% became sick or disabled and are unable work

25% ran out of food stamps

22% lost their job or were laid off


How would you have fed yourself and your family

if this pantry couldn’t help you?

Respondent households reported they:

46% don’t know

27% rely on friends and family

25% stretch the food on hand

25% try to locate another agency

24% borrow money or food

22% skip meals

19% go hungry


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© Copyright 2004, No part may be reproduced without expressed written permission

from the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks.