Ohio Association of Foodbanks

A photo of Lisa Hamler Fugitt
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A new report from a coalition of farmers, environmentalists and food pantry organizers says Ohio needs to make changes to its existing policies on food. They say it will create more jobs, reduce hunger and improve the quality of air and water. 

photo of Lisa Hamler Fugitt
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

A new report by a coalition of social service groups says state leaders need to invest in families, Ohio’s seniors and the poorest in the state when they approve the next two-year state budget.

A photo of Lisa Hamler Fugitt, Ohio Association of Foodbanks
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Under President Trump’s newly proposed budget, about 80 percent of SNAP recipients could lose about half of the credit that is currently put on their EBT cards. Instead, they'd get a box of processed food from the government.

The director of the organization that represents the state’s food banks says the change would destroy the safety net for low-income Ohioans and punish them instead.

Photo of health insurance
Valeri Potapova/Shutterstock / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Time is running out for Congress to approve more funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program. That program is operated by states, and Ohio has a plan for the program known as CHIP in case Congress doesn’t act.

Unless the U.S. Senate and House pass a new measure, Ohio is on track to run out of federal funding for CHIP by the end of the year.

Statehouse News Bureau

For years now, low income people who visited Ohio’s foodbanks could also get help filling out paperwork necessary to get health care through the federal Affordable Care Act’s Navigator program, but not anymore. 

The Ohio Association of Foodbank’s Lisa Hamler Fugitt says she’s profoundly disappointed that the foodbanks are being forced to end the service because of a 71 percent cut in funding for it.

photo of Monopoly house and coins
WKSU

Nearly nine years after Ohio lawmakers passed—and voters upheld— a crackdown on payday loan businesses, people are still borrowing from quick-cash lenders. And the lenders are still charging huge interest rates. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler says another proposal to regulate the industry is back before legislators.

USDA

A new bill in the Ohio Legislature aims to crack down on food stamp fraud.

Republican Sen. Bill Coley has a message for people who shouldn’t be getting food stamps but are.

“Stop it. Stop it right now because we are going to catch you and when we catch you, you are looking at criminal prosecution.”

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.

photo of 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.