Poverty & Safety Net
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How to get food assistance, unemployment benefits

March 18, 2020
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We know many of our fellow Ohioans are experiencing layoffs, lost school meals and financial pain right now. According to Lt. Gov. Jon Husted more than 100,000 Ohioans have filed unemployment claims this week, compared to 6,500 claims over the time period two weeks ago.

 Ohio’s foodbanks are ready to help the millions of Ohioans who now may need it.

The Ohio Association of Foodbanks has compiled a list of resources so that Ohioans in need can get help.  

From the Ohio Association of Foodbanks:

  • Help with Food from Foodbanks: Each of our 12 member foodbanks are working to adjust as this situation unfolds to meet demand for their help however they are able. Our traditional partners in that work - 3,600 food pantries, shelters, and other meal programs - may have decreased ability to assist in distributing food. We have also shifted to limiting person-to-person contact through "no-touch" distributions, to reduce large numbers of people congregating in lines or waiting rooms. Click to lookup the best way in your county to locate emergency food assistance from our network.  
 Our traditional partners in that work - 3,600 food pantries, shelters, and other meal programs - may have decreased ability to assist in distributing food.  
     
  • Help with Food from SNAP: The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps, is designed to act quickly to help families and individuals facing food budget shortfalls. If you've experienced a job loss or lost wages, apply for SNAP online at benefits.ohio.gov or over the phone at 1-844-640-6446.
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  • Help with Lost School Meals from Local Districts: With more than 600 school districts, availability of non-congregate school meals will vary from place to place. If you have a K-12 student, you should have received communication from your school about how your child(ren) can continue receiving meals. If you have not, please contact your local school district or building for more information.
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  • Applying for Unemployment Benefits: By Executive Order, Governor DeWine announced changes and flexibility to Ohio's Unemployment Insurance Program to provide support to impacted workers during this crisis. Learn more and apply for Unemployment Benefits at this website or by calling 1-877-644-6562, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  If you want to help, foodbanks do need volunteers and particularly cash donations right now. Learn more about how you can help here.
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