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.

 

Comments

Contango

Where's Comrade Sen. Brown on this?

1 out of 5 Americans (79M) now on Medicaid and 47M on food stamps.

To h*ll with the debt - federal cash and prizes for everyone!

mikel

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..

VTX Rider

I wonder if the unemployment/underemployment rate increased in conjunction with the food stamps during that period. I doubt it, but that would be interesting to know.

2cents

I can say that I let go of nine people in the past three months due to a major customer taking our parts to be manufactured in China. If they cannot find work I am sure they will be added to this list :(

deertracker

Underemployment rate? Give me a break. It is only underemployment when the elite that think they are entitled to a good job can't find one suitable. Get over yourselves PLEASE! It's hard out here for a P.I.M.P. Deal with it!

Sarah Weber

I reviewed your comment and you make a fine point @mikel, but we had to remove your comment because of the name calling. We encourage you to reword and repost.

SaraMac

The candy bar,soda pop,chip buying card users (IF THAT ISN'T 90% of the cart content) don't p*** me off nearly as much as the crab leg buying crew. We both work our butts off, and eat plenty of chicken and beans. Am sure our family is healthier for that! No shame in needing assistance,just shameful for that to be a way of life in generation after generation. I wonder how many of them know that they can buy seeds with the card to plant and harvest later? We do this every year and save hundreds. (edited to add:without having or using f.s. card.)Even container gardens are possible,with some effort.

starryeyes83

I see where you're coming from , but, at least the crab legs are a little healthier than the junk food, though. As for seeds not everyone has a yard to do a garden. Although, I' m sure some people would like to. But, who knows what they're trading that stuff for.

What really gets me is seeing people at the food pantries, getting all kinds of produce and then allowing their kids to take heads of cabbages and squash and smashing them into a parking lot. Yes, this really happened and instead of trying to make a pot of soup or something with this free produce. They smashed it up.

my oh my

Stop the abuse with the ones buying cigarettes and alcohol with them.....I have seen this first hand as it is so easy now with the debit card and such they are issued.....

grandmasgirl

I know someone who thinks that if you are on assistance, you should have three months to get off or at least PROVE that you are looking for work. If you don't, you go into a community shelter where you have a bedroom (or more according to family size). That is it. You have to share the kitchen, bath, TV, etc. He feels that when you provide each family a private house or apartment, along with all their food, heat, electric, etc. it enables them to spend their life letting someone else pay their way and gives them no reason to want to get off assistance.

starryeyes83

Your friend better hope he never has an illness or injury that wipes out his life savings, and income.

grandmasgirl

My friend DID need assistance at one time. However, he did not understand the paperwork, and the people in charge were to busy to help him. So, he went back home, started doing odd jobs for people, finally got his own place. He kept his food in tin containers so the mice wouldn't get into his food. He washed windows, did the heavy housework for older people, baled hay, anything he could do to make a buck. He now owns three properties. He credits it all to "no one helping him". At his low point, he would have been happy to share a place (paid for) with someone else. There is a difference between helping and enabling.

mikel

nice story!

grandmasgirl

Thank you. It is a true story and he deserves credit for how hard he has worked to earn everything he has. He is a very generous man to people who really need the help. However, he has no use for "users".

starryeyes83

Very good for him, you didn't mention anything about people who are physically unable to perform those things. And what about other barriers?

I agree with you on the "user" part.

grandmasgirl

I would have to be an idiot to not want people who deserve and NEED this program to not get it. I am talking about ones who ARE physically able to work, but use any means not to. I know people who have to have help and I am more than willing to give it. I am not willing to give help to the woman next door who lives off me and has a revolving door for men to come and go. (that is an example)

starryeyes83

Thanks for the clarification.

mikel

i have said many times that those who are handicap or are working pretty much full time but can't quite make it should have some help. for those who don't work, have baby after baby or just work 10 hrs a week, thats when i have a problem.

Zoepoet88

The problem with that process of homeless shelters many social workers tell people to get pregnant then they can get into a shelter at least that's how it was when I was in high school. Also in the shelters they tell people go to school and take out loans then it will give you a place to live and you won't need food stamps. The thing with that it increases debt then after college students end up back on the system. Shelter's are not always a place of choice. I know people who try to make it on the street with their families. Going to temp-to-hire jobs to just to pay for motel rooms or to save up for apartment.

JERRY from SANDUSKY

the problem here is your the problm for letting it go

Contango

@ starryeyes83:

Not to worry; the govt. elites in collusion with the banksters are wiping out the savings of every American while reducing the majority to poverty and making them increasingly dependent upon govt. “hand outs.”

It's "official": There is no inflation and food is not increasing in cost.

Just ask the govt. They never lie and they're only here to help.

starryeyes83

@ Contango

We all know government lies like a rug. That's their job.

I've never seen an honest politician , yet, or a poor one , have you?

I can't imagine how different it would be if they told the truth but that's not the way the game is played.

rec8888

WHAT? Obama my man you never told me this was going to take place. Now you are even lying to me just like you do to the ones that oppose your entitlement programs. Now I suppose the next statement out of your lying mouth will be that you want me to get a job. Are you kidding me and sfter I got all my non-working lazy friends to vote for you. And we even took the chance and went back and voted for you more than once. And this is our payback!!!!!! You scum

LadyC

This whole subject is nothing new. I worked in a grocery store 30 years ago and saw the same thing going on, some people used them sensibly and others didn't. Every system has its abusers. I have heard and seen so many rants about the "entitled" and how they should get a job, what they should do, what they should buy, and what they should have. Personally, I don't care. I don't want to be that angry all the time. I do know that there are a lot of people who DO work and still get assistance, because their wages are so low, and finding another job is too risky. Obamacare is not to blame for these places that cut their employees hours. They were already part time to begin with. Even teachers and professional office jobs are part time now. Nobody's givin the bennies. I am looking at the food stamps, Metro housing, and tax credits for the low income people as actually being entitlements to mega corporations that play these games and send jobs overseas at the first hint of actually having to-GASP-pay a living wage. You can bet those CEOs are making a living wage, have health care, and never think twice about their lesser employees. Undercover Boss should be a requirement for every one of them. Sure free enterprise can be a great thing, and those at the top should make more, and the small business owners should too. But why, whenever there is a budget to be cut, or "fat" to trim, must it always be to these working people? No wonder there is no loyalty any more.

starryeyes83

A word about the full cart thing: to be fair some people do shop once or twice a month at a time and stock up. I'm one of those and yes, I've had to use FS in the past. We didn't get a full allotment, and I tried to get everything on sale and stock up -- For example: roasts ( chuck) can be used for beef stroganoff or Beef and veggie soup or shredded bbq beef sandwiches, or stew. Steaks - occasionally-- wrap them extra and freeze. Um...seafood not so much. We don't drink pop and very rarely ever got anything sweet. Whole chicken cost less per pound than cut up or frozen breasts with the solution added ( which I try to avoid).

Brick cheese is less expensive than already shredded and can freeze very well IF you wrap it, I've also had good luck with freezing Kraft slices ( or generic).

rickross2

I will be blaming the Obama voters for the next 4 years. Everything that goes wrong in America will be your fault. The kool-aid wasnt lemon flavored......it was urine. Unfortunately, we all have to live with the aftertaste.

pptrsha

i am so sick and tired of all of the judgemental people who think any and everyone on assistance is getting a free ride and living the high life. are you kidding???? wish the agencys that figured out benefits used your conversions. nobody here knows how much money is allotted or distributed to all families on assistance a teacher told me about little kids that put food in thier pockets at school to take home to feed siblings that are not in school. i dont believe that 130 per month would feed anyone that breaks down to 5 bucks a day anyone that has raised teenagers will tell you that all of your resources go to feeding and clothing growing kids. just because you see some dumb as# buying things YOU dont think they should that is not the majority. i can tell you from my own experiance that myself and 3 children once got 350 per month in food assistance. those last few days of the month were pretty lean when the food ran low and the kids had to be fed are desparate times. if you havent figured it out yet it breaks down to 11.50 dollars per day. can you feed 4 people on that? it was a means to an end. and i so know what it feels like to be embarrased ashamed to ask for help because people like you would look at me with my three kids buying our groceries with foodstamps

verdict

I dunno what is coming in January, but..I know a disabled woman who has already had her food stamps reduced TWICE in the past few months. The reason given: "Your allowance for utility assistance has gone up so your food stamps are going down."
This makes NO sense whatsoever. Her actual utility BILLS have NOT gone up, but the "allowance" has gone up. So, they take food out of her mouth so that they can "allow" her to use more electricity. SMH.

We are talking about a woman who spent a decade of her life breaking down her back to lift military veterans out of beds and onto toilets. Taking food out of her mouth but, hey..she can turn the lights on for the whole day now, instead of just at night time (as if). Ridiculous.
They are taking something she needs (food) away..and replacing it with something she doesn't need and they SHOULD KNOW she will not use (extra leeway to run up high electricity bills). Highway robbery, plain and simple.

verdict

The Federal Reserve chairman's CPI does not take the cost of food and energy into account. As far as Bernanke is concerned, aside from food and energy, the economy is doing just fine.
Now, the aid programs are screwing people on the food (as detailed in my other post, above).

We can "thank" every journalist as well as any blogger/commenter (both Republican and Democrat) who helped Ron Paul lose the Republican nomination. We can blame the Senate Democrats even moreso, tho..since their Senate Majority Leader killed Ron Paul's Audit the Fed bill on arrival (not even allowing the Senate to vote on it, even tho the House passed this bill in a landslide vote with bipartisan support). As a result, the Dollar will continue to fall in value..so the cost of living will continue to rise.

realbigshot

Woww you people are so ignorant too see the big picture if people are starving and aint enough to to feed there family thats when crime and violence start too happen and job and family service knows it and ill rather go to work and pay taxez than not have a job at all while you ones talking about your job pays for that you should be thankful that you have one and stop judging and looking down on other people cuz you never know you might just be in they shoes one day and i think the recession already proved that and it's funny cuz you are the ones that had your nose so far in the when you they lost them good jobs they didnt get assistsnce they killed themselves and sadly some killed they whole family because they had a nervous break down and couldnt coop with not having a good job so watch what you say cause GOD works in mysterious ways

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