Federal authorities have approved Ohio's new plan to extend a COVID-related program for 600 thousand eligible school kids missing out on free or reduced-price meals.
The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer program allows families to purchase food from grocery stores for children who are not in school due to COVID-19. Congress extended the program in October, and Ohio had to submit a new operation plan. The extension starts in February and eligible families will receive retroactive benefits in a single payment. Benefits are added to food stamp cards. Rachel Cahill with the non-partisan Cleveland-based Center for Community Solutions says last school year, the program distributed 261 million dollars to eligible Ohio families:
One in four Ohio children lives in a household that is food insecure. The latest federal COVID-19 relief package includes a 15 percent increase in food stamp benefits through June.