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Government & Politics

New Rule Threatens Food Benefits for Thousands of Ohioans

SNAP sign at grocery store.
The SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program provides benefits for thousands of low-income Ohioans.

The White House is going forward with a rule that will make it harder for Ohioans in low-income counties to get food stamp benefits. The rule implements work requirements in counties with high unemployment rates. 

The new rule from the Trump Administration mandates that able-bodied adults can only get benefits from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), commonly known as food stamps, if they work, go to school, get work training or volunteer.

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says creating hurdles between low-income people and benefits will not spur personal advancement. "If we want to encourage work and provide opportunities for individuals, the one thing you don't do is take away their nutritional lifeline," Hamler-Fugitt said.

Tens of thousands of Ohioans could be affected by the new rule, which goes into effect in April.

A Republican-backed bill called for the same changes in the Ohio House. It has nearly two dozen co-sponsors.