News & Updates
We strive to be a trusted source of information and expertise to elevate the issues, challenges, and opportunities facing food insecure Ohioans.
Press Releases & Media Statements
Recently released data, including the USDA Household Food Security report and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Income and Poverty and Supplemental Poverty Measure reports, show that temporary relief measures and efforts by the public and charitable sectors implemented in 2020 helped to insulate many Americans from greater hardship. With pandemic unemployment compensation ended, and other relief measures like SNAP Emergency Allotments, expanded SNAP eligibility for income-eligible college students and the temporarily expanded Child Tax Credit set to expire, Ohio anti-hunger and anti-poverty organizations are urging Congress to make critical permanent investments in the nation’s social safety net.
Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced $80 million in federal awards to 60 grantees in 30 states to reinvest in critical Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Navigator services. The announcement includes $1,928,061 for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and its consortium of regional and local organizations in its first year of a three-year cooperative agreement with CMS.
After cutbacks over the past few years, the federal government has quadrupled the number of navigators to help people find health insurance for 2022.
Zach Reat is the director of health initiatives with the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, which is coordinating the "Get Covered Ohio" campaign. He said there are more than 50 trained, certified and licensed navigators in Ohio who can simplify the process.
"We can help people enter in all of their information to qualify for tax credits and subsidies," said Reat, "understand the different health insurance plans that are available, and then make sure they are selecting the plan that is best for them and fits into their budget."
We are here to fill gaps, prevent hunger and boost access to healthy eating options, but we can’t eliminate food insecurity on our own. We urge support for the permanent social safety net investments included in the Build Back Better Act. Congress must embrace what we have all learned, and what the data clearly tells us — more resources in the hands of families means less hardship and more hope.
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."
Publications & Reports
A legislator's guide to addressing hunger
Independent economic impact analysis of investments in Ohio food programs, conducted by Dr. Howard Fleeter