Thursday, January 27, 2022


The Indiana House passes a controversial bill barring schools from teaching about Critical Race Theory, and President Biden pledges to place a Black woman on the Supreme Court for the first time.


Justice Stephen Breyer formally announces his retirement, the Dept. of Education will help students who fell behind during the pandemic, and Ariz. lawmakers consider a bill granting them control over elections.


Free COVID tests by mail but some rural Americans need to go the extra mile; farmer storytellers join national campaign to battle corporate consolidation; specialty nurses want more authority; and rare bat gets credit for the mythic margarita.

OH Groups: Make Programs that Support Families Permanent


Monday, August 23, 2021   

COLUMBUS, Ohio - Ohio food security advocates welcomed news last week of the largest permanent increase to SNAP benefits coming this fall and they hope it's a sign of more funding opportunities for other programs.

Kelsey Bergfeld, director of Advocates for Ohio's Future, said she and other partner organizations are preparing for what they're calling the 'COVID cliff' on December 31 - the predicted end of the federal health emergency, when the benefits many Ohioans have been receiving for months will significantly drop.

She said these programs are the first line of support for many Ohio families.

"Certainly, we want to make sure that you can take care of your family first and these supports are just vital to allow that time for that job search," said Bergfeld, "for that training opportunity, for any kind of opportunity to find and establish self-sufficiency. We have to take care of the basics first."

The SNAP increase, an adjustment of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Thrifty Food Plan, will increase a recipient's benefits by an average of $36 per month. Ohio currently has just over 1.5 million enrolled SNAP recipients.

Joree Novotny, director of external affairs for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, said if there's been a silver lining in the pandemic, it's been many of the investments in family economic stability, like the expansion of the Child Tax Credit.

According to census data, the first child tax credit payments released last month were linked to a 24% reduction in food insufficiency for households with kids.

"I think that we've been able to see from the responses that Congress and the administration have taken," said Novotny, "what we can do long-term to gain back some traction that we've lost in equity and racial and social justice for average families in Ohio and across the country."

This summer marks the 25th anniversary of the Personal Responsibility and Work Reconciliation Act, often known as "welfare reform."

Novotny said she'd like to see programs like the expanded Child Tax Credit made permanent, as well as Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer, which provided free or reduced meals to students this summer.

Disclosure: Ohio Association of Foodbanks contributes to our fund for reporting on Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Livable Wages/Working Families, Poverty Issues, Welfare Reform. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Under a new proposal, California employees could use up to three days of paid sick leave to get and recover from a COVID vaccination. (Mangostar/Adobestock)

Social Issues

Parents' rights groups are praising a plan to extend paid sick leave for many California workers, which is now on a fast track to pass. Gov…

Social Issues

Changes to a student-loan program for public-service employees is transforming the lives of Montanans who had their debts forgiven. In October…

Health and Wellness

When the Pueblo Community Health Center opened its 14,000 square-foot facility in 2003, Pueblo's east side, home to mostly minority residents…

By 2035, there are projected to be more than 1.2 million older adults living in Minnesota (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Minnesota is building on efforts to meet the needs of its growing population of older adults, now becoming the 10th state to join AARP's network of …

Social Issues

The past year saw American workers reassessing their jobs. However, those shifts did not result in higher union membership at the national level…

Those calling for permanent universal free school meals say research has linked them to better academic outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This summer, a key initiative to boost school meal access during the pandemic will expire. In North Dakota, those working at the community level say …


New research suggests Earth's Sixth Mass Extinction event, on par with the one that ended the age of dinosaurs, already is under way. Noah Greenwald…

Social Issues

Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill into law on Wednesday to provide direct support to Pennsylvania youth experiencing educational instability, ensuring they …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021