Commentary: COVID-19 situation highlights unreliable hours, benefits and paid time off for Ohio workers
"Policymakers and employers: whether in the face of an illness we already know or a new virus we hope to avoid, no one should have to choose between going to work sick or losing the wages they need to put food on the table."
“Across the state, our member charities are in dire need of reliable equipment to store and distribute millions of pounds of fresh produce, protein and dairy items to our state’s most vulnerable residents,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. “We are grateful to Governor DeWine and members of the Ohio General Assembly for recognizing this need to equip our network with resources and tools to better serve our clients with the items most often requested – fresh, nutritious foods.”
“The folks at the top are doing fine, but the economic recovery has bypassed most middle-class families,” said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. The number of students qualifying for the lunch program is widely considered to be a strong indicator of poverty and the strength of the economy. This year’s 40% participation rate is down from an all-time high of 45% in 2011, but still higher than the 36% before the start of the Great Recession in December 2007.
"Most people who can work have jobs, Hamler-Fugitt said. They are low-wage with inconsistent hours, and offer no guarantees that people can achieve 20 hours a week, she said. Food pantries and food banks are already stressed, and the new SNAP rule will likely worsen the problem."
"Generally, the government's food assistance programs have among the lowest rates of abuse of any federal program — less than 1 percent of food stamp payments go to those who are not eligible for the program, the federal government says."
"Millions of people may lose their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits as a result of changes proposed by President Donald Trump’s administration. More than 40,000 Mahoning County residents receive SNAP — sometimes called food stamps — each month. Proposed changes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the methods used to determine benefit eligibility may see some of those individuals removed from the program."