Some Ohioans' food stamp benefits to decrease

Some Ohio families will lose $50 a month in food stamp benefits next year, leaving food banks bracing for higher demand.
Associated Press
Nov 12, 2012

The cut won't apply to all 869,000 households receiving food stamps, but only to some homeowners and renters who have a "standard utility allowance" deducted when determining whether they are eligible for food stamps, The Blade reported.

Those families will see a cut in benefits because of how the government calculates utility expenses. A mild winter last year and lower natural gas prices led to a decrease in aid.

The thinking is that lower utility expenses meant families had more money for food.

Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services tried to stop the change but the appeal was denied by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the food stamp program.

"This is a federal issue," said Joel Potts, executive director of the job and family services directors' association. "We just think it is going to be really hard on families and individuals. They will see significantly less money starting in January."

The state appealed the change because many families that will see a reduction don't even use natural gas to heat their homes and instead use fuel oil or propane and didn't see a cost savings, said Ben Johnson, a spokesman for the job and family services department.

Plus, many people still rely on food assistance at a time when the nation is coming out of the recession, he said.

"They are going to increase hunger among our most vulnerable — working families, seniors, children, and persons with disabilities," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

Some seniors or people with disabilities who have a low benefit amount could lose all their monthly assistance, she said.

Jack Frech, director of the Athens County Department of Job and Family Services in southeastern Ohio, said the reduction will cause hardship.

"Fifty dollars would be devastating," he said. "These are folks that have already fallen off the fiscal cliff."

The average food-stamp recipient receives $138 per person, per month, according to state statistics.

"It will put a strain on all organizations that provide emergency food. We're going to have to find alternatives. We can't pull food or money out of thin air," the Rev. Steve Anthony executive director of Toledo Area Ministries, which runs a program with 13 food pantries in the Toledo area.




we reap what we sow (without getting political)


Spread the wealth, ok!

The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of someone else’s money! MT


they should weed out the abusers, those that sell there food stamps, and those that have them but are living w/ a man w/ a good job, living together under 1 roof but getting foodstamps, useing them but really not needing them. I know of a lady that used foodstamps to buy turkeys as gifts for her extended family. This cant be rare.


Stopped at the store on the way to work the other day. Was in line behind a very smelly couple buying 12 2 liters of pop and a mountain of candy bars. Felt great knowing I was headed to work to bust my butt to pay for that. Oh and they remembered to bring their coupons. How thoughtful.


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).


This forum is for leaving "your thoughts and opinions" You disagreeing with mine doesn't require profanity and name calling. Grow up.


Stopped at the store on the way to work the other day. Was in line behind a very smelly couple buying 12 2 liters of pop and a mountain of candy bars. Felt great knowing I was headed to work to bust my butt to pay for that. Oh and they remembered to bring their coupons. How thoughtful.


There are people who abuse the food stamp program. The problem is that there are few limits on what people can buy. If you don't like the fact that people are buying mountain dew and candy bars with food stamps you paid your $$ into then go to the state file petition to make changes on what people can purchase with the food stamps. It's you're not willing to put action into your statements they are words floating in the air that don't matter. People complain so much about what everyone is doing wrong or about the poor needing food. Sometimes people have needs. Have you ever had a need in your life? Maybe so.. or maybe you suffer from pride failing to ask for help. Everyone needs a little help once in a while. For someone who lost a job or has health issues getting on their feet doesn't happen overnight. It could take a couple months.



Are you talking about a "need" or a "want"? There is a difference.


869,000? That's a huge problem that needs to be addressed, whether or not the actual need is there. My family received foodstamps the last time the military was gutted in 1992. I was fortunate enough to be "dropped from the computer" every month while I worked to get us back to prosperity. I was able to observe everyone else getting their stamps. There is fraud and I have seen it first hand. Every dollar put into the foodstamp program should wind up feeding someone that needs it. It doesn't. I believe only about 30 cents on the dollar actually makes it to the needy. Many are on foodstamps for life and are resigned to it. Food banks will solve these problems of fraud. Before foodstamps, that's where the needy went for food, and they received what they needed. Every bit of time and money invested helped the needy. Scrap the foodstamp program and use only foodbanks. Wasn't the goal of the foodstamp program to feed the needy?


@ Minuteman:

You're "30 cents" argument has merit.

It's been estimated that approx. 10-20% of every dollar spent in govt. programs is lost due to waste, fraud and abuse.

Of course ya gotta pay the wages and bennies of the federal govt. bureaucrats who run the programs and shuffle the papers. Figure another 20% for carrying charges.

And those state bureaucrats don't work for free either.

So maybe, 50-40% of all the money spent in most govt. programs 'actually' goes for it's intented use.

The GAO needs to do an audit, but that would embarass the rich elites in DC, so that ain't gonna happen.


good in theory! however, sooner or later the "food lords" would turn corrupt.

the waste is rampant! there is a person that i know that gives his grocery list to someone on the food card. she buys him his groceries and he pays her .50 on the dollar. right, wrong or indifferent it is happening out there.


Hey,It actually was Mountain Dew! How'd you know that? : )


If I had my way, anyone getting welfare would have to PROVE they were looking for work by getting their book stamped by the employer they showed up at to apply for a job. No stamp, no assistance: including food stamps. We USED to do that years ago. Worked great.


Some counties still require this aspect of the plan for getting people off food stamps. Some counties in Ohio also are involved in the welfare to work program where they put clients at job sites for a certain amount of hours a week. This is sometimes effective but not always because it takes time away from job hunting. I think they need to hire more job coaches and bring programs that help people make a plan for independence. It is true some people are in the system too long. It's because of lack of planning. The reason this takes place is because the Government is getting rid of social workers and having computers replace people but it doesn't always work.


(having computers replace people but it doesn't always work.)

How do you think we got in this mess in general!!


Oh No..WHAT?!?..You mean these lazy slobs have to get off there rear and get a REAL JOB..I love it, drop the Food Stamps even moreeeee!..And dont tell me you have no babysitter, theres plenty of sitters out there while you work.


Call Kiddie Korral and check those prices.

Truth Be Told....

Stereo typing all people who receive FS shows utter ignorance in all who do it. I personally want to thank all of you who do earn a paycheck, right along with my husband. We recently hit a rough patch in life and had to let go of our pride and ask for help. My husband an I arent lazy freeloading people, this is the the very 1st time we've ever applied for ANY type of assistance. We're embarrassed EVERY TIME we go grocery shopping because we KNOW what people think of those on FS. So please stop assuming that EVERYONE on FS has no job, is abusing the system, or just buys crap with your money that your forced to give up on your paycheck. Both my husband an I have paid the same deductions that you do, and my husband still does. For what its worth, I do agree that drug tests and random home visits to ensure all information on applications are infact true. THOSE are the people you should be upset about, one's who lie to obtain any and all assistance and stay on it for generations to come and those who think doing drugs is more important than getting off assistance. F.Y.I, ive only been getting FS for 2mons now and if things keep going like they are at my husbands place of employment, we'll be off FS before the new year. (some people actually do get off assistance rather than lying so they can stay on it. Something to think about when your stereo typing people.) Again, I thank any an all who pay in, so that this program is available for people who truly need it and appreciate it when and if hard times fall on them unexpectedly. My husband and children thank you as well.


Thank you for stating the obvious. People fall on hard times and do need temporary help. If I ever needed help I would not be ashamed or embarassed to receive it. Afterall, I have paid taxes for decades. Why should I go hungry after helping to feed others for years? Some on here get on their "high horse" everytime gov't assistance is even mentioned. Those are the ones that think gov't assistance should only be for them. I say to you, don't be ashamed. It is human nature to survive and ANYONE can have misfortune. Good luck to you and your family!


Truth Be Told, I'm sorry for your temporary circumstances and I'm pleased to see that not only does something exist to help you through it, but that that's all you're looking to do: get THROUGH it.

No, it's not fair that you should be lumped in with those who abuse such programs. But in fairness to those of us who MIGHT judge, look around and note that the abuse is substantial and widespread. I'm personally sick and tired of wheeling my half full cart to check-out knowing I'm going to spend another $100 or so, and the person in front of me has a shopping cart heaped with steaks, ribs, pop, frozen dinners, and other goodies and pulls out their handy dandy little taxpayer funded card to pay for it all.


The problem with the food stamp program there is not many limitations on what people can purchase. The reason people tend to purchase tv dinners and junk food is because they are not educated on nutrition, food preparation, budgeting and other aspects of grocery shopping. Learning these things are not simple. I think that if social service agencies stepped up to the plate and had people sit through classes about benefits and nutrition your tax dollars won't be supporting obesity. It actually might help people get healthy. When people get healthy they can go look for jobs and get off the system. Having a non restricted system of buying food is making Americans put on pounds increasing health risks causing them to build excuses to why they can't work.


There's limitatins as to what you can purchase. Food and non alcoholic consumables. The problem is with enforcement.


@ deertracker:

So your answer to a corrupt system is to hire more highly paid bureaucrats?

The old problem in the ol' bankrupt Soviet Union; who watches the watchers?


agreed, but, the problem is the word "food". this encompasses to much junk. as i have said before this has become a country of wants not needs and our gov't does a great job providing for their wants.


At one point they had limits that people couldn't buy candy, gum, hot store cooked foods, or protein powder. I believe they got rid of the candy, gum and hot foods thing. I know that elderly people are banned from purchasing ensure on food stamps which I think that should be priority over gum and candy.


I think the problem lie's in the prices...a frozen dinner is $1.00, A package of carrot sticks is $3.00....


What she said


I am partial to the idea of drug testing for food stamps. I think that drug testing should be done by a physician rather than a center for drug testing. It helps protect privacy in the stance that the government doesn't need to know if Jonny is biopolar and takes antidpressants and sally just had a knee replace and takes pain medicine. I think if a doctor can sign a paper with medication and then perform a toxicology screen that should be adequate for the Government. I'm skeptical about drug testing because of privacy laws and HIPPA violations. If clients aren't willing to sign a release at their doctor's office then they could be hiding something.


You can't punish the "hungry" child for he actions of the parent. A person should not have to disclose their entire medical file just to feed their kids. Also drug testing is not cheap and toxicology reports are timely.