The Food Assistance Program − formerly called food stamps and known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) − helps eligible low-income Ohioans stretch their food budgets and buy healthy food. Food assistance benefits are distributed electronically through the Ohio Direction Card, which is similar to a debit card.
First Call 2-1-1 provides information and referrals for social service agencies, government offices, support groups, churches, clubs, organizations, and cultural and recreational institutions located in Richland and surrounding counties.
Eligibility for food assistance is complex – based on family size, income, current assets and expenses – but both families and individuals may be eligible to receive food assistance.
You may qualify for benefits if your household’s gross monthly income is at or under 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Some households may qualify if they have incomes over the limit if someone in the household is elderly or disabled. To get a better idea of if you may qualify, use the USDA’s food assistance calculator or apply for food assistance.
A list of acceptable verification documents can be found here.
Once an individual is approved for food assistance benefits, the individual must meet a work requirement to continue to receive the benefits.
A work required adult or Able-Bodied Adult without Dependents (ABAWD) is someone who is 18 years old but not yet 50 years old and is not pregnant or parenting.
There are several different ways to meet the work requirement.
Once families have been approved for food assistance, the Ohio Direction Card (also known as the Electronic Benefit Transfer EBT card) is issued and sent to the individual or family’s address. It can be used at most grocery stores across Richland County.
The card looks similar to and works like a credit or debit card. It can be used in most any food store checkout line. Check with the grocery store you go to most frequently and ask how your card will work.
When users make eligible grocery purchases, they simply swipe the card through a reader at the register; the amount is deducted from the total monthly benefit amount. Remember that “eligible purchases” means food or food products but excludes alcohol, tobacco and food prepared to eat immediately, such as food at restaurants.
To find out more information about the Ohio Direction Card, to check your account balance, review your transaction history, report that you are moving, or report a lost or stolen card call, 1-866-386-3071 or visit The Ohio Direction Card website.