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Report Finds Assistance Funds Are Not Reaching Those in Need

photo of empty wallet
Ohio receives more than $727 million from the government but a lot of it does not reach poor families.

Ohio receives more than $727 million from the federal government each year that the state’s poorest families can use for things they need. But a new report shows a lot of that cash assistance isn’t making it to those families.

It’s called Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF.  Tara Britton with the Center for Community Solutions said Ohio routinely underspends these dollars and, as a result, has more than $500 million in reserve. She said it’s not because there are fewer people who need it.

“We are just not connecting them with the program,” she said.

Britton says changes made in the past decade - things like time limits and workforce requirements - have made it harder for very poor Ohioans to access the money. In 2008, she says 173,000 Ohioans got that money while this year 93,000 receive it.