01/26/16: LISTEN: Health Care Enrollment Deadline Nears: Ohio Navigators Standing By (View)

For people concerned about their ability to pay a monthly premium, Zach Reat of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says financial assistance is available. And he adds that more than eight in 10 Ohioans have qualified for the tax credit. "Ohioans have accessed over $294 per month on average when it comes to that credit so it is significant for Ohioans and it is helping Ohioans afford insurance," he states.

01/20/16: Crunching the Numbers: Free Tax Help Available in Ohio (View)

Tax season is here and some Ohioans can get free help crunching the numbers. Sites are located around the state and an appointment can be made online at Last year, The Ohio Benefit Bank helped file federal and state tax returns for over 25,000 households, claiming nearly $48 million in refunds and tax credits.

01/12/16: Unemployment benefits changes would 'dismantle' anti-poverty program, advocates say (View)

House Bill 394, a sweeping overhaul of the state's unemployment system, goes farther than any other state to limit benefits to the unemployed, according to Advocates for Ohio's Future, a coalition of nearly 500 health and human services organizations. "If HB 394 is passed, it will dismantle Ohio's most effective anti-poverty program," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, co-chair of the coalition and executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

01/11/16: Many seniors not eating well enough (View)

In the last quarter of 2007, 158,599 older Ohioans depended on the supplemental-food services [of foodbanks]. In the last quarter of 2015, 411,570 did -- a nearly 160 percent increase. "Seniors are always the last ones to show up, and when they do, they're usually in desperate need," Hamler-Fugitt said.

12/16/15: LISTEN: Today Is Deadline for Affordable Care Act (View)

"Navigators are trained professionals that are also licensed by the Ohio Department of Insurance to provide unbiased information about the plans available in the community and help Ohioans sign up for coverage that is appropriate to their needs."

12/15/15: Barely getting by: 42 percent of Williams Co. residents struggling financially (View)

"All of a sudden, the world as we knew it was gone," Rudy Thomas said. "You don't think you see (people in need), but they're there. We're too busy looking the other way and minding our own business to see that they're out there. They're just like us, they dress like us, but you don't know the inner story." 

12/09/15: Foodbank demand rises (View)

Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Agency's pantry coordinator said she sees people from all walks of life needing food assistance in some way and doesn't expect that to change anytime soon. "I don't see the numbers going down any further," she said. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks pointed to the severity of the problem across the state and called on lawmakers to take action.

12/08/15: A new report links hunger and problems with learning (View)

Lisa Hamler-Fugitt says the new study from the Ohio Education Policy Institute shows that a hungry child has a harder time learning. "Children who are sitting in our classrooms [need to be] able to learn and [have] something in their stomachs so they can focus on their school work instead of their growling tummies."

12/07/15: Recent study shows increase in households living in poverty; Athens County ranks 2nd in state (View)
12/06/15: Study shows over 45 percent of Highland County residents qualify for help from food banks (View)
12/05/15: Economic insecurity: Number of poor families grows in Ohio (View)

New Census data shows the number of individuals living in households with incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level is up in Columbus, and in every other metropolitan area, and in 80 of 88 counties. "Our families are not gaining ground since the end of the Great Recession," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt. 

12/04/15: Advocates for needy urge Ohio lawmakers not to cut unemployment benefits (View)

Among other provisions, HB 394 would potentially freeze unemployment benefit amounts and reduce the maximum number of weeks eligible residents could receive compensation. The bill also would require workers to have earned wages in at least three of the four calendar quarters to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

11/25/15: Opinion from Lisa Hamler-Fugitt in the Akron-Beacon Journal: EITC and CTC boost work, fight poverty (View)

"[Ohio families] go to work each day, save every penny they can, and the numbers still don't add up to cover basic needs for their families. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) are two tax credits that work to help solve exactly this problem. We are counting on Congress to help working Americans this year by making key provisions of both credits permanent."

11/16/15: Cooper Farms Donate to Ohio Foodbanks (View)

"This generous donation from Cooper Farms is an incredible testament to the vital role our local farmers, growers and producers play in making sure everyone has access to nutritious food," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. Cooper Farms presented a donation of 5,258 lbs. of meat, on behalf of Ohio legislators, to the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

11/10/15: LISTEN: Bill Aims to Remove Barriers to Food for Ohio Children (View)

"Ohio's U.S. senators are reaching across the aisle to back a federal bill that would remove barriers to summer feeding programs for Ohio's children. The legislation would empower nonprofit, faith-based and community-based organizations with the ability to distribute meals through a version of an electronic benefits card, and a meals on wheels type program."

10/28/15: Letter to the Editor: Help handy for finding health coverage (View)

Whether Ohioans are signing up for health insurance for the first time, renewing their current plan or enrolling in Medicaid, trained navigators can help guide consumers to make informed and appropriate decisions about their health-insurance options and health-care needs. Consumers looking for more information or to set up an appointment for the upcoming open enrollment period should call 1-800-648-1176 or visit

10/21/15: No health coverage? That's about to get more expensive (View)

Navigators who educate people about their health coverage options will stress to uninsured Ohioans that the penalties are going up, said Zach Reat, director of work support initiatives for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. Navigators will emphasize to consumers that signing up for health coverage would give them access to free preventative services, up to three well visits per year, and significant coverage for major illnesses.

10/14/15: Democrats call for more extensive food assistance waivers (View)
10/13/15: Fewer food pantries serve Ohioans in need (View)

About 40 food pantries in the state have either closed or merged since June 2014. Officials at the Ohio Association of Foodbanks think the closures are the result of higher demand after many people were taken off food stamps following a reinforcement of a work requirement in 2013.

10/05/15: Too many senior women live in poverty (View)

"It's absolutely immoral that so many of our greatest generation is living like this," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks. Ohio is an aging state, and officials should take the numbers as a harbinger of the future, she said. About 14 percent of Ohio residents are 65 or older, and that figure is projected to grow to 22 percent by 2032.

10/03/15: Poverty numbers rise in Dayton area despite lower unemployment (View)

Experts say one cause of the high poverty rate is that higher-paying, full-time jobs are being replaced with jobs that don't pay a living wage, or jobs that are part-time or temporary. "We really feel that this is a crisis that has evolved from a shift in how our economy is working," said Joree Novotny, spokeswoman for the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

09/29/15: Veterans help run resource center for other veterans in need (View)

"No one passed any judgment on me. They understood this was a temporary stop for me until I can get back on my feet. I'd call it five-star treatment, and veterans don't always get that." One veteran tells how the Military Veterans Resource Center, a Columbus-area organization that provides emergency help with food and other services, was there when he was down on his luck.

09/27/15: Impoverished: Falling jobless rate hides number of people struggling (View)

Poverty and unemployment rates, once predictably linked, don't necessarily rise and fall together. "We hear all the time the middle class is disappearing," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt. "Jobs that were the family-supporting jobs have not come back. There's this increase of low-wage, part-time, temporary and contingent jobs." 

09/19/15: Recovery matters little to Ohio's poor (View)

Despite the end of the Great Recession, 1 in 4 Ohio households last year had total incomes of less than $25,000. "The economic recovery has not reached everyone. For low- and middle-income households, things aren't getting better," said Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, executive director of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks.

09/16/15: LISTEN: Ohio Ranks Among Worst States in Food Security (View)

Listen to an hour-long segment on WOSU's All Sides with Ann Fisher discussing the rise of food insecurity in Ohio, including comments from our own Lisa Hamler-Fugitt and other local, regional, and national experts, as well as callers who talked about experiencing food insecurity firsthand.

09/12/15: LISTEN: Feds Say Ohio Sixth Worst State for Food Insecurity (View)
08/18/15: LISTEN: Bad weather keeps students away from summer food programs (View)
08/18/15: LISTEN: Bill Aims to Reduce Summer Hunger Among Ohio Kids (View)
08/18/15: Letter to the editor: Drug-testing for cash assistance benefits is impractical (View)
08/14/15: Foodbanks Struggle to Meet Surprising Demand (View)
07/24/15: Summer feeding programs beneficial to communities (View)
07/13/15: Addressing child hunger when school lunch is out for the summer (View)
07/04/15: Letter to the editor in Columbus Dispatch: US should expand national service (View)
06/02/15: Summer break no break from hunger for some Ohio kids (View)
05/16/15: South Side school becomes food pantry site (View)
05/11/15: Letter to the editor: Hunger among elderly presents more problems (View)
05/04/15: Ohio's elderly forced to choose between food or medicine (View)
04/16/15: Jobs return, but hunger remains a problem in Ohio (View)
04/10/15: EDITORIAL: Plain Dealer says Ohio should allot more money in budget to fight hunger (View)
04/07/15: EDITORIAL: The Vindicator backs boost to foodbank funding (View)
03/31/15: Local food pantries are modernizing to fight hunger more efficiently (View)
03/24/15: What The Jobs Report Doesn't Tell You (View)
03/11/15: Many Ohioans living paycheck to paycheck, report shows (View)
03/02/15: Foodbank Leader Receives National Award (View)
02/20/15: School Closings Hurt Families Trying to Feed Their Children (View)
01/26/15: Job training for poor gets priority (View)
01/23/15: Want help filing your taxes? File for free with the OBB (View)
01/11/15: Letter to the editor: Many families, even working, need help (View)
12/21/14: A third of Ohioans now eligible for food help (View)
12/06/14: Food pantry eyes dwindling reserves (View)
11/26/14: Holiday Blues: Advocates Shine Spotlight on Life in the Low-Wage Economy (View)
11/25/14: New Ohio Campaign Promotes Free Resources Available to Help Uninsured Ohioans (View)
11/23/14: More seeking food aid (View)
11/19/14: Forum Examines the Needs of Ohio's Hungry Kids (View)
11/05/14: Ohio Association of Foodbanks Receives Ohio Nonprofit Excellence Award (View)
11/03/14: Demand for food pantries is increasing (View)
10/31/14: More Ohioans turning to food pantries, study shows (View)
10/31/14: WATCH: More Ohioans Seeking Food Assistance (View)
10/31/14: WATCH: 2 Million Ohioans Dependent on Foodbanks (View)
10/12/14: Ohio's poverty rate dips slightly (View)
10/08/14: Health law waivers: Too complicated to claim? (View)
09/05/14: Ohio rates among the worst states when it comes to hunger problems (View)
09/05/14: How is Ohio Tackling Childhood Hunger? (View)
08/28/14: Not Just for Kids: Peanut Butter Helps Hungry Ohio Seniors (View)
08/28/14: Hope Fund wraps up summer meals (View)
08/05/14: Weekend food, delivered meals, mobile markets feeding Ohio kids (View)
07/31/14: Ohio foodbank program an option for growers (View)
07/16/14: Representative from governor's office toured SE Ohio Food Bank and summer feeding sites (View)
07/15/14: Food program fills void for rural kids in need (View)
07/13/14: Reentry center to give fresh start, offenders grow for foodbanks (View)
06/28/14: Foodbank supplier in high gear for summer (View)
06/25/14: Bucyrus offering weekend meals through executive order from Gov. Kasich (View)
06/18/14: Foodbanks aim to combat summer hunger (View)
06/18/14: There's More Places for Ohio's Kids To Get A Free Meal This Summer (View)
06/12/14: Summer food program hopes to reach more children (View)
06/05/14: Fewer nutritious meals during summer months (View)
04/21/14: Food stamp recipients making tough choices after cuts (View)
04/18/14: Ohio Pork Farmers Reach 1 Million Meals Donated (View)
04/15/14: WATCH: Ohio farmers donate pork to the Greater Cleveland Food Bank (View)
04/14/14: Editorial: No more cuts to food stamps (View)
04/12/14: Access to fresh food lacking in parts of Ohio (View)
04/04/14: Help Wanted: Poverty Fighters in Ohio (View)
04/01/14: Senator Sherrod Brown: "National Service: Strengthening Ohio's Communities" (View)
03/26/14: Ohio's winter was especially harsh for lower-income people (View)
03/25/14: Roundtable Offers Food for Thought - and Action - on Food Insecurity (View)
03/21/14: USDA Recognizes Issue with Students Missing Meals on Snow Days (View)
03/20/14: Summer Food Needs for Students (View)
03/19/14: Activists working now to set up summer food service programs for kids (View)
02/24/14: Ohio Research: How Income, Poverty and Unemployment Impact Hunger (View)
02/24/14: WATCH: Common Ground -- SNAP Work Requirements (View)
02/22/14: Nearly half of Ohio kids get subsidized lunches (View)
02/18/14: The Vindicator Editorial: Find more work slots or restore food stamps to needy Ohioans (View)
02/15/14: Dayton Daily News: Millions of Ohioans either unemployed or looking for work (View)
02/13/14: Snow Days Mean Kids Go Without Free/Reduced Meals (View)
02/08/14: Part of the Farm Bill: Cuts to Food Stamps (View)
01/26/14: Akron Beacon Journal Editorial: 'SNAP Judgment' (View)
01/25/14: About 10,000 Ohioans lose food stamps (View)
01/19/14: Food pantry seeing new clients after food stamps' work rule hits (View)
01/18/14: Most on food stamps are working (View)
12/28/13: Lisa Hamler-Fugitt Appearance on 10TV Capital Square (View)
12/20/13: Food Struggles Could Hit Ohio's Jobless Even Harder (View)
12/18/13: Critics prod Kasich to waive work rule (View)
12/18/13: WATCH: Foodbanks, Advocates Address Need for SNAP Statewide (View)
12/12/13: WATCH: Update on Health Plans and Ohio (View)
12/07/13: Healthcare Navigators Report Easier Time Helping Clients (View)
12/05/13: Viewpoint: Fighting for a fair farm bill (View)
12/02/13: Job market stalling, but work requirement for food stamps still looms (View)
12/01/13: Waiver for food stamps cues debate (View)
11/29/13: Toledo Blade Editorial: No jobs, no food stamps (View)
11/28/13: Work requirement for food stamps draws ire of two lawmakers (View)
11/27/13: Press Conference: Discussing Food Stamp Eligibility in Ohio (View)
11/19/13: Food stamp cuts hit Stark County's poor (View)
11/16/13: NBC4 Segment on Spread the Good Campaign (View)
11/06/13: Lisa Hamler-Fugitt Appearance on "State of Ohio" (View)
11/05/13: Food stamp cuts create high demand for foodbank supplies (View)
11/02/13: Today's Food Stamp Cuts Impact 1.8 Million Ohioans (View)
11/02/13: Bllomberg: Wal-Mart to Widows Will Feel U.S. Food Stamp Cuts (View)
11/02/13: Food stamp stimulus money expires (View)
11/01/13: Ohioans' food stamp cut will hurt (View)
10/25/13: Donation from Wiers Farm helps drive Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio (View)
10/22/13: Volunteers sought to sign residents up for benefits (View)
10/13/13: Health Insurance Exchanges Suffer Ills of Geography (View)
10/15/13: Ohioans Receiving Food Stamps Hurt by Weekend EBT Card System Outage (View)
10/13/13: Melissa Harris-Perry Appearance by Lisa Hamler-Fugitt (View)
10/10/13: In Boehner's backyard: A 'perfect storm' for hunger (View)
10/10/13: Shutdown a 'complete disconnect' from the realities of hungry Ohioans (View)
10/09/13: Ohio Association of Foodbanks, two state senators host public discussion (View)
10/08/13: High On Ohio: Part 5 (View)
10/08/13: High On Ohio: Part 4 (View)
10/08/13: High On Ohio: Part 3 (View)
10/08/13: High On Ohio: Part 2 (View)
10/08/13: High On Ohio: Part 1 (View)
09/24/13: Gov. Kasich praises foodbank efforts, pledges support (View)
09/07/13: Ohio 10th worst state for food insecurity (View)
09/07/13: Ohio ranks 10th in nation for low food security (View)
09/04/13: Ex-offenders garden for good cause (View)
09/04/13: Increased funds mean more fresh produce at foodbanks (View)
09/01/13: Ohio foodbanks need our help (View)
08/30/13: Ohio foodbanks leader says cutting SNAP funds a bad idea (View)
08/30/13: Governor Kasich encourages Ohioans to help end hunger (View)
08/18/13: Worries grow as program faces ax (View)
08/16/13: Ohio Association of Foodbanks state's largest recipient of navigator grants (View)
08/15/13: Local pantries fear impact of food stamp cut (View)
08/09/13: Food assistance recipients brace for cuts (View)
08/08/13: Ohioans set to take hit if food stamp boost lapses (View)
08/08/13: Toledo Blade editor says "go-hungry policy" would be awful (View)
08/08/13: 16% of Ohioans face food stamp cuts (View)
08/06/13: Advocates, politicians say they will promote Obama health plan (View)
08/03/13: Incoming Federal Cuts to Hit Low-Income Ohio Families (View)
07/23/13: State rep visits food program (View)
07/17/13: Growers fear for their safety net if legislation doesn't cover food stamps (View)
06/20/13: Kids summer food program under way (View)
06/19/13: Farmers markets bring produce to summer food programs (View)
06/16/13: CEO of ProMedica says: Hunger is a health issue (View)
06/14/13: Senator Brown, Ohio Foodbanks promote summer meal program (View)
06/14/13: Many children in Ross, Pike Counties food insecure (View)
06/13/13: Executive Order will feed children in rural areas (View)
06/08/13: Senate declines to boost foodbank aid (View)
06/05/13: Meigs Local funded for children's summer feeding program (View)
06/04/13: Hunger Doesn't Take a Summer Break (View)
06/04/13: Schools will provide summer meals to needy kids (View)
05/30/13: Helper at hand in Governor Kasich (View)
05/25/13: The Courier (Findlay) endorses state budget request for Ohio's foodbanks (View)
05/19/13: Food gap: Akron-Beacon Journal endorses state budget request for Ohio foodbanks (View)
05/17/13: Banking on food: Toledo Blade endorses state budget request for Ohio foodbanks (View)
05/15/13: Brown Introduces Amendment to Reverse Cuts to Foodbanks (View)
05/09/13: USDA Administrator Talks about Food Insecurity in Appalachia (View)
04/24/13: Walmart Giving Tops $1 Billion Nationwide (View)
04/17/13: Fed Cuts Impact Summer Meals for Hungry Ohio Kids (View)
04/15/13: Video: Additional Refrigeration Needed at Member Foodbank (View)
04/06/13: UnitedHealthcare Donation Means Healthy Food for People in Need (View)
04/02/13: Pork donation to make a difference (View)
02/06/13: More than 44 percent of Ohio children receive free and reduced-price school meals (View)
01/31/13: Gov. Kasich announces $1.5 million in funding for summer programs (View)
01/02/13: Kasich gifts foodbanks with much-needed boost (View)
12/10/12: Fiscal cliff crisis seen as threat to gains (View)
12/02/12: Advocates fear food stamp cuts look inevitable (View)
11/21/12: Hunger in Ohio Doesn't Take a Holiday (View)
11/19/12: Fighting Hunger: Editorial (View)
11/17/12: Lisa Hamler-Fugitt on Melissa Harris-Perry, Part 1 (View)
11/17/12: Lisa Hamler-Fugitt on Melissa Harris-Perry, Part 2 (View)
11/13/12: Food Stamp Benefits Shrink; Food Pantries Concerned (View)
11/12/12: Ohio Food Stamp Aid To Be Cut (View)
11/08/12: Ohio food charity need up 45 percent in three years (View)
09/13/12: Drought impacts Ohio foodbanks, reports Ohio Farm Bureau Federation (View)
08/27/12: As Ohio School Bells Ring, Kids' Tummies Rumble (View)
Public News Service
08/16/12: Has your representative rejected SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill? (View)
Ohio Association of Foodbanks Action Alert
08/02/12: Poverty Sim: Walk in My Shoes (View)
United Way Director: Trials and Triumphs
07/23/12: Protecting SNAP: Notes from the Field (View)
Spotlight on Poverty
07/13/12: Backpack program helps parents feed kids (View)
Middletown Journal
07/02/12: Hunger: Interview with Lisa Hamler-Fugitt and Matt Habash (View)
Town Hall Ohio Radio, Episode 320
06/28/12: Governor stops by the Lunch Club (View)
Westerville News & Public Opinion
06/25/12: Summer lunch programs available (View)
Record Herald
06/21/12: Making sure to eat well (View)
The Chronicle-Telegram
06/20/12: With Schools Closing for the Summer, Brown Alerts Ohioans to 1,734 Sites in 77 Counties that Ensure Needy Children Do Not Go Hungry in the Summer (View)
06/16/12: Governor Kasich Issues Executive Order to Feed Hungry Children (View)
The Cincinnati Herald
06/10/12: Needy kids can get summer lunches (View)
Dayton Daily News
06/08/12: Lunch Provided: USDA Summer Food Program under way (View)
Marietta Times
06/02/12: Fraud Guard - proposed rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (View)
Akron Beacon Journal
05/02/12: Freestore sheds light on poverty through simulation (View)
Cincinnati Enquirer
05/02/12: 15.5% fall into 'meal gap' (View)
New Philadelphia Times Reporter
04/30/12: Cutting food stamp funding hurts the poor and rural America (View)
04/27/12: Hunger on the rise in Ohio, relief group says (View)
The Plain Dealer
04/22/12: Poverty In America: Defining The New Poor (View)
National Public Radio
04/17/12: For some, tax laws really code to joy (View)
The Dispatch
04/11/12: Designed to fight poverty (View)
Akron Beacon Journal editorial
03/09/12: Another View - Hunger in Ohio (View)
Ironton Tribune
02/19/12: It's tax time, and a statewide, nonprofit agency wants you to hang on to your money. (View)
Mansfield Journal News
02/14/12: Two local nonprofits receive $300,000 in grants (View)
The Dispatch
01/31/12: Officials Look for Ways to Boost Student Use of Free Summer Meal Plans (View)
The Dispatch
01/30/12: State Looks to Help More Kids with Food Programs (View)
Ohio News Network
01/02/12: Food Stamps: The Safety Net That Deserves Its Name (View)
The Nation
12/22/11: Hard Choices Loom in Boehner's Home State as Benefits Expiring (View)
12/02/11: Fast Food's Dirty Little Secret: It's the Middle Class Buying Burgers (View)
The Atlantic
12/04/11: Poverty a Community Problem (View)
The Marion Star
11/22/11: Wendy's Awards OASHF with $10,000 Community Appreciation Grant (View)
11/19/11: Nation Needs to Step Up Fight Against Hunger (View)
The Columbus Dispatch
11/15/11: Needy Families Reach Out for Ohio Benefit Bank (View)
11/14/11: Even in a Land of Abundance, Hard Times Leave Many People in Need (View)
Crain's Cleveland Business
11/09/11: Congresswoman Fudge Shops on a Food Stamp Budget (View)
Fox 28 News
11/07/11: Peanut Butter Prices Hurting Foodbanks (View)
610 WTVN
10/30/11: Hunger Escalating among Ohio's Greatest Generation (View)
The Examiner
10/24/11: Outside Cleveland, Snapshots of Poverty's Surge in the Suburbs (View)
The New York Times
10/17/11: Hunger Spreads in Suburbia (View)
The Columbus Dispatch
10/11/11: Hundreds of Helping Hands Could be Lost in Ohio (View)
Public News Service
10/06/11: Farm Credit Services of Mid-America Helps Ohio Farmers Fight Hunger (View)
PR Web
10/06/11: Ohio Pork Producers Inspire Giving (View)
09/23/11: New Census Numbers "No Surprise" to Ohio Foodbanks (View)
Public News Service - Ohio
09/12/11: Second Harvest Mobile Unit Assists Veterans (View)
09/08/11: Hunger in Ohio Rises to 6th-Worst in U.S. (View)
The Dispatch
08/15/11: AmerCorps and VISTA: Answers to an Ailing Economy (View)
The Rachel Maddow Show
07/27/11: Homeless Children Get Lessons in Health (View)
WLWT Channel 5
02/04/11: The Need for Social Service Agencies to Come Together (View)
Brunswick Area Television