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Economy and Business

Ohio re-institutes jobs-for-food-stamp requirements for most of the state
Some 130,000 people will be affected

Andy Chow
In The Region:

Ohio is ramping back up work and job-training requirements for more than 130,000 people to get food stamps.

It had waived the requirements statewide during the recession. But beginning next year, people in most areas of the state who are age 18 to 50, have no children and have no disabilities will lose food stamps unless they get jobs or training.

The exception is in the 16 counties of eastern and southern Ohio that make up the Appalachian region. Ben Johnson of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says the state is trying to adapt to local economic realities.

LISTEN: Food stamp logic

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“There were some states that turned the waiver off statewide—there were some states that left the waiver in place statewide—and we wanted to be a little more strategic than that. We wanted to be cognizant of the fact that there are some parts of the state where unemployment is still high but we also wanted to begin providing job training and work activities in parts of the state where the economy is recovering just as we did before the recession.”

But state Sen. Charletta Tavares of Columbus says ignoring the economic realities of people in the other 72 counties in Ohio is unfair, especially since they include cities with higher unemployment  rates. She’s introduced a bill to allow for waivers to continue in all 88 counties.


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