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Ohio


Ohio: waiving work requirement for food stamps in Appalachia makes sense
But critics say the state is punishing other regions
by WKSU's ANDY CHOW


Reporter
Andy Chow
 
In The Region:

As families prepare to gather around the table for Thanksgiving, state policymakers are urging Gov. Kasich to change requirements for food stamps.

Starting at the beginning of next year, more than 134,000 Ohioans will lose their food stamps unless they meet certain work or training requirements. This affects childless adults ages 18 to 50 who are not disabled. Ohio has had a waiver for these requirements to help those hardest hit by unemployment and the recession. But Kasich has decided to allow that waiver to expire without renewal – except in 16 counties mostly in Appalachia. Democratic Sen. Charleta Tavares of Columbus says that’s not fair to the rest of the state.

LISTEN: Tavares on food stamps and work

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“To say that 16 counties’ residents have the opportunity to continue to receive SNAP benefits and 72 counties—your largest counties’ residents cannot—how can we say we are being fair and just and right and equitable for all of Ohio’s citizens.”

Ben Johnson is spokesman for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. He says these requirements are important to help get Ohioans back on track. Even if someone can’t find a job, he says, they can enroll in job training programs.

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