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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.

To see if you are eligible for the Food Stamps Program as well as other benefits please contact a local member of the Ohio Benefit Bank by calling 800.648.1176 or visit TheBenefitBank.com.

We are a system of strong alliances, and we continually seek and maintain meaningful partnerships that allow us to help people who are most in need. Our relationships with the Ohio Departments of Agriculture, Development and Job and Family Services (ODJFS) are rooted in decades of success. One particular program, the Ohio Food Purchase and Agricultural Clearance Program, has been heralded as one of the most successful public-private partnerships in the state.

What We Do

  • Distribute tens of millions of pounds of food and other grocery items each year through our network to the people in Ohio who need it most.
  • Create and implement programs with public and private partners that provide resources for people who find themselves in emergency situations as well as individuals and families who experience longer term food insecurity.
  • Advocate for funding and support of hunger-related initiatives to secure the resources required to meet the nutritional needs of every hungry child, adult and senior citizen in Ohio.

Programs that Work

To meet the ongoing and emergency needs of more than a million hungry Ohioans each year requires smart planning, flexible resources and solid implementation. In collaboration with our various public and private partners, our 12 foodbanks statewide address the needs in their region with proven programs that work. A few of those programs include:

  • The Ohio Food Program, which takes advantage of the power of buying in bulk to supply local food pantries and soup kitchens with nutritional, shelf-stable foods.
  • The Agricultural Clearance Program, which leverages funds to buy surplus fresh vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat from Ohio-based farmers.
  • The TANF Grocery Program, which provides needy, TANF-eligible (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families) families with food and grocery boxes that include a shelf-stable food supply, personal care products and household cleaning products.

We also recognize that hunger goes hand-in-hand with other issues that can make it difficult to meet the needs of daily l ife. We are proud to be the lead Ohio agency for programs that acknowledge these difficulties and attempt to cast a broader net to effectively serve Ohioans in need. Examples of these programs include:

  • The Benefit Bank, an internet-based, counselorassisted program that helps low- and moderate-income individuals and families file for state and federal tax credits and benefits.
  • Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which is administered by the Ohio Department of Development and provides financial assistance to Ohioans who are eligible under current federal poverty guidelines.

What Motivates Us?

T H E   P E O P L E   B E H I N D   T H E   S T A T I S T I C S .

Our desire is to see the number of hungry Ohioans continue to decrease and to eliminate hunger as a social issue in our state. But we’re not there yet.

  • In any given week, 207,700 different Ohioans receive emergency food assistance.
  • 35 percent of those being served are children under the age of 18, with one out of 10 children served age 5 or under.
  • Nine percent of those being served are seniors, many of whom are on fixed income and cannot afford fluctuations in basic necessities such as utilities and prescription drugs.
  • One-third of households (33 percent) served include at least one employed adult.
  • 78 percent of households served by emergency food programs in Ohio are classified as “food insecure,” according to the U.S. government’s food security scale.
  • Hungry Ohioans often have to make difficult decisions:
    • Half indicates choosing between paying for food or paying for heating/utilities
    • One-third indicates between paying for food or paying rent/mortgage

Get Involved with Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks

Fighting hunger is easier than you think. Here are four simple ways to make a difference:

  • Make a donation. Every dollar you donate provides five meals to hungry Ohioans. All monetary donations are tax deductible.
  • Coordinate regular food drives. Encourage your peers at work, school, your church or in your neighborhood to donate non-perishable items and canned goods. Also consider canned goods as part of admission to local events you may be planning.
  • Be your neighborhood’s resource person and drop-off. Many people will donate if they know how to participate. You can be the conduit.
  • Volunteer. Serve others at a soup kitchen or pantry, or help sort food at a local foodbank.