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.



There you go again

"Also drug testing is not cheap". But feeding drug addicts who use/sell their food stamps for money is......


I am sure these comments are not directed toward folks like you, your situation is why the program exists. The sad truth is the abusers; these people are so often found living off government programs for life. People seem to find ways to live off of free stuff in any environment, abuse programs that were planned to be bridges so one does not have to live under a bridge. With a difficult economy and every dollar counting, you will, as you have read people venting their frustration here. Big government is just easy to abuse and it is going to get even bigger at the expense of all those who work hard for their incomes.

When people are handed free money they do not think so much how wise to spend it, that may be 12 liter bottles of pop or a case of water, having lived out of a budget book in the past I found that water out of the tap on the sink was far more practical so I could make pay my electric bill. A lot of these people do not need a bank account because they have everything given to them from the shelter over their head to the water they drink. It is sad because so many make this a lifetime way of living. There is also the underground economy that allows these people to trade without issue for just about anything.


mikel over in the other thread says, "wow! $138 per person per family. so, a family of 5 gets $650+ per month on their food card plus, during school year, would be eligible for free or reduced breakfast and lunch! and people wonder why our gov't is broke."

$160 a week is not a lot of money to feed 5 people. (138*5/4.3)

You are eligible for food stamps if your family income is less than 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level which in the case above is 130% of 27,000 or $35,000 a year.


don't forget mutley, that when the kids are in school they are getting free or reduced breakfast and lunch. so, for 8-9 months there are considerably less meals being served at home. also, they can now use their cards at fast food places. i can show them how to shop for $160 per week.

our gov't is retarded to the fact that they let people pretty much buy what they want in relation to food. this then increase's the chance that there will be more health problems which is paid for by, guess who, yep thats right the taxpayer! so, we just continue to create our own problems. meats, veggies, milk, fruit and pasta should be the only thing they are allowed to buy.


The calculations you see are only the average. People who do not pay utilities because they are included in their rent get a lot less than that. Say a family of 3 with one parent working earns 700 dollars a month average from their job but their rent is 500 but they have no utilities. They are looking at about 20 bucks a person in food stamps. If the person is making the same amount but pays utilities then they get an aditional amount added to their monthly food budget. Senior citizens living in low income housing get even less. The average senior citizen living in HUD housing with a rent less than 250 dollars gets 19 dollars a month in food assistance. The system is wired wrong in so many aspects. They just started considering a phone bill as a utility bill. They also play medical expenses into the role of getting assistance as well.


While you were busy complaining about the guy who bought a snickers bar with his food stamps, Exxon pocketed $9,000 of your tax dollars.

PBS aired a program on Independent Lens Monday evening detailing how the super wealthy have bought and paid for our politicians, including Senator Schumer, democrat from NY, and Paul Ryan, republican congressman from Wisconsin. Eye opening to learn how they have the cards stacked in their favor and keep pressing for more, more, more.


@ reader:

So who's at fault? XOM or the corrupt elitist politicians?

"In essence, this is a vote-buying scheme by the Status Quo: the top 1% control the policies of the State in alliance with the State's own Elites, and together they buy the complicity of the bottom 60% majority."

Just vote for the "right people" for your State funded cash and prizes.


Sometimes I wish all these people who support the candidates and their parties for re-election would donate money to programs for job creation, social workers to help create stategic planning to help people gain indepence from the system, and incentive programs incooperating ticket to work also for people on other assistance besides social security.


It's called taxes Zoe!


While we watched our manufacturing jobs go offshore so Walmart could sell us stuff for lower prices, didn't you imagine there would be a cost from the increased need for social support programs ?


Exactly! Cheap goods made in other countries translate into no job or money for you thus, needing help. Elementary!


@ deertracker:

So bring back all those low skill, high wage factory jobs that existed in the U.S.' industrial golden age?

A sweet irrational fantasy.

How many $160 American-made toasters are you gonna buy?


Seems like REALITY to me. Yes, bring back those jobs so people will at least have a job. Are you advocating for more assistance? America is suppose to be the best at this and the best at that so be the best!


@ deertracker:

So your "REALITY" is American workers sweating in factories makin' top notch wages and bennies producing toys, baskets, and other cheap junk? LMAO!!!

Unfortunately in the "real" world, labor costs have to translate into the price of the product.

High labor costs = high prices.

Good luck with that "REALITY." :)

Even your pal, Mr. Obama has said that a lot of those jobs ain't comin' back. You should listen to what he says sometimes.

The more publicly paid bennies, the faster this country goes bankrupt and ‘perhaps’ back to fiscal sanity.



No, my reality is jobs period. Where were all these high wage idustrial jobs you speak of? Do you consider a job high wage just because it is more than third world wages? I believe SOME of those jobs will return. I am not advocating high wages. You think KBI pays high wages? You seem to have no problem with foreigners "sweating" in factories for practically no wage. Bring the jobs home and pay a fair wage. It's not just labor costs that translates to higher prices.


@ deertracker:

Wanting and wishin’ ain’t gettin'.

Where’s your pal, Mr. Obama on NAFTA and CAFTA; thought he was gonna revisit ‘em?

The U.S. factory of today employs far fewer workers and more robots than even the shop of twenty yrs. ago.

As a percentage of GDP, U.S manufacturing has stayed about the same for decades.

Well Mr. Entrepreneur, when are you startin' up your factory and paying all those great "living" wages and bennies? Talk is cheap.

So what are you building?

Good luck finding capital.


No quite $160 but it is Americain made. The big problem is that we have become a disposible society. i buy things like this knowing I will only buy it one time, ever. Even washers, dryers that laster 25 years now only last 5 10. It isplanned obsolecense to sell more, thus filling up scrap yards and wasting recources.


@ 2cents:

Ought to be a great toaster! LOL.


My computer three-in-one printer broke so I went to WalMart and bought a cheap one for about $39. I couldn't believe the price. I had paid about $125 for the last in 2006.

The clerk told me that replacement ink cartridges would cost around $39 and so many customers just buy a new printer with cartridges included instead.


It is sad :(
Try these guys, I have bought for about five different printers and have had good luck with quality.


Deertracker do you have a worldview inside your head? The reason companies send jobs overseas is because products can be made for so much less in other countries. They don't have minimum wage in Ethiopia and other countries. Workers get paid less than $250 a month working long hours for these companies. There are no child labor laws. In the U.S. a certain wage is required by the Government and new health care laws will burn companies. I guess obama didn't think about jobs when he put in the new healthcare overhaul. Even papa johns said they will be cutting hours with new health care laws. My point is that more people will continue to need help because of the decrease in jobs here in the U.S. the good jobs that are available to Americans are being cut with advances in Technology because people seem to think a computer functions better than a human in some jobs therefore laying off more workers causing increase in umemployment benefits to be paid out.


You mean the Papa John with a twenty two car garage at his home? Technology is not the problem. Corps would rather pay a low wage instead of investing in new technology. It's all about profit. Enough is never enough for some.


@ deertracker:

So why don't you start a pizza franchise since you seem to have all the answers?

Pay 'em all a "living wage" and great bennies.

No profit = no jobs.

No new technology? What are all those robots doin' in U.S. factories?


That's not new technology. CAD/CAM technology has been around for decades. You don't start a franchise you start a business. You buy a franchise pooh! Pizza has a large profit margin but it is garbage food. I'll pass!


@ deertracker:

And new tech costs money.

You criticized Papa Johns' owner and seem to think that you know all about running a business.

I meant what I wrote: Start a business that can be franchised. Sheesh!

You're dodging. Get capital, start a business and pay your workers a "living wage" and great bennies. Talk is cheap.


I've heard that some who have assistance gets to take karate lessons on the tax payers' dime as well. Heard of that happening in Huron county...whether it's true or not ...I have no idea. That sure doesn't sound like a food stamp program to me.

If it is, I would like to know why.

I know people on assistance who have health issues and can't work. They always have to prove it.


That's because it is not. Karate instructors DO NOT accept food stamps as payment. Where do you people get this stuff?


Not food stamps as payment , it's suppose to be some kind of program for the kids whose parents are on the food stamps and some kind of other assistance.. I don't know the details. But I was told the HCJFS was paying for it.


I know that sometimes private foundations will fund fund activities for children in poverty.


Are those funds administered by the county?


What is a "standard utility allowance" and who qualifies to get it?