September is Hunger Action Month and, in 2020, it arrives with unparalleled urgency. For families facing the threat of hunger, the debilitating reality that they might not be able to put adequate, nutritious food on the table because the money isn’t there and the rent is due — every day is a matter of urgency.
“We’re all feeling the pressure right now because of the loss of the $600-a-week pandemic unemployment assistance,” Hamler-Fugitt said. “That’s been a lifeline for a lot of people who thought they were temporarily laid off and a lot of temporary furloughs and layoffs have now been turned permanent.”
“Needless to say, SNAP is not funded sufficiently to even begin to make up for the loss of wages or unemployment benefits families are experiencing,” Joree Novotny, spokesperson for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, said. “And while SNAP is our most critical line of defense against hunger, it cannot pay the rent or mortgage or even buy diapers.”
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"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.