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More than 100,000 Ohioans could lose SNAP Program benefits under proposed bill

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 3:44 PM EST
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(Editor’s note: This story was originally published February 25, 2021 at 4:51 PM EST - Updated February 25 at 4:55 PM on cleveland19.com )

CLEVELAND, Ohio (Great Health Divide) - Many people across Ohio say a proposed bill would force some families to go hungry.

The goal of Ohio Senate Bill 17 is to stop scammers from taking advantage of the state’s SNAP program.

However, more than 100 thousand Ohioans are in jeopardy of losing access to the assistance.

“This bill will essentially make it harder for them to apply for benefits and harder for them to maintain it,” said Kimmy LoVano of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

This bill would affect people like Nikki Trowski who comes to the food bank distribution drives several times a month.

“It does very much come in handy,” said Trowski.

Trowski says she doesn’t want be one of the people who loses out on the much needed benefits.

LoVano recently went down to Columbus to testify against the bill.

She says the bill creates too many hurdles for families to jump through just to put food on the table.

“Let’s say I’m a working parent, I lose my job... If I had a car worth just a modest amount, I would have to sell my car before I’d be allowed to receive food stamps and feed my kids,” said LoVano.

Some of the changes the measure proposes is to require a photo I.D. to make sure someone using the SNAP card is the person who actually has the benefits.

LoVano says, if passed, the new requirements couldn’t come at a worse time.

“We’ve never seen the demand like we are seeing right now. Our food bank has seen 52,000 turn to emergency food providers sine the pandemic began,” she said.

Senate Bill 17 has only been introduced and not been voted on yet.

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