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Government & Politics

Summit County Encourages SNAP Applicants -- Including Furloughed Federal Employees -- to Apply Soon

A sign advertising SNAP acceptance.
Stephanie Dodson of Summit County Job & Family Services says her department is unsure of the availability of SNAP benefits next month due to the government shutdown.

Summit County’s Department of Job and Family Services is encouraging people-in-need to apply for SNAP benefits by the end of the month – and that now includes federal employees affected by the government shutdown.

The department says that furloughed workers have no reasonable expectation of when they’ll be paid again, so they might be eligible to receive benefits.  Stephanie Dodson, deputy director of Adult and Family Services for Summit County, says some of the people affected could include TSA workers, such as those at Akron-Canton or Cleveland Hopkins airports.

“They could have employees that live in Summit County, so they would be coming to the county of residency for assistance.  I’m honestly not sure beyond that what in Summit County is affected at this point.”

Dodson adds that extending benefits to federal workers is something that’s never occurred in the 18 years she’s been with the agency.

Applicants can call Summit County Department of Job and Family Services at 1-844-640-6446 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to be interviewed same day for SNAP, TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) and Medicaid eligibility. If a client has applied for SNAP in January and missed their initial appointment, they should call 1-844-640-6446 by the 30th if possible.

Summit County residents are encouraged to call 2-1-1 or visit www.211summit.org if they are or become food insecure.