Ohio Association of Foodbanks

photo of Dave Yost
JO INGLES / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Legislature is considering a bill to add the photos of food stamp recipients to their electronic benefit transfer or EBT cards. The idea is to stop food stamp fraud.

State Auditor Dave Yost reported on food stamp fraud last year but says he still isn’t sure how much fraud is in the system. That’s why he’s backing this bill.

“We believe this will be helpful to avoid trafficking in cards. We know that there are trafficking in food benefits that are happening around the state, and a photograph is a simple straight forward way to deter that.”

photo of Lisa Hamler-Fugitt
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Gov. John Kasich has warned state agencies and associations that this year’s budget will be tight. However, one group believes that’s exactly why Kasich needs to increase funding in one specific area.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks is asking for a $20 million increase for hunger relief programs over the next two years.

The group’s executive director, Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, says these programs provide 30 percent of the food that’s distributed statewide to people who are underfed.

photo of Lisa Hamler-Fugitt
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio lawmakers are trying to agree on how to shore up the fund that pays jobless benefits to unemployed workers. Several advocacy groups say the lame-duck efforts still threaten people during their most vulnerable time.

A laid-off worker would be able to get unemployment checks from 26 weeks to 20 weeks based on a new bill proposed in the House and Senate. That’s up from a previous bill that would have cut the time to 12 weeks.

The bill would also require more businesses to pay more into the fund.

photo of Lisa Hamler Fugitt
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio’s economy, like the nation’s, has been improving in recent years since the economic downturn in 2008. Many of the jobs that are coming back are not like the ones that were lost during the most recent depression.

Lisa Hamler Fugitt is the head of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. She says many of the jobs that left Ohio paid living wages and provided benefits. But she says a recent federal study shows many of the jobs that are coming back are considered contingent jobs.

Lisa Hamler Fugitt
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Advocates for poor Ohioans are calling on Gov. John Kasich to take action now to get more federal money for food programs. 

The head of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says the state should request a federal waiver that would allow more dollars to flow to agencies that help provide food for Ohio’s poorest citizens. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt says for the past three years, the state hasn’t applied for that help. And she says that means Ohio hasn’t been able to maximize its potential to get food for low-income people.

Pages