Leaders of Ohio’s foodbanks say they are overwhelmed by the demand on their services amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
They’re urging the federal government to increase food stamp benefits by 15 percent and asking Ohio’s leaders to kick in 25 million dollars to help pay for emergency services. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports.
The head of the Ohio Association of Foodbanks says the number of people they are serving has tripled and quadrupled during the past couple of weeks. And Lisa Hamler Fugitt says many of those turning to food pantries for help were people who had donated to food banks in the past. She says Dayton’s foodbanks have seen one of the biggest spikes.
“They did a two-hour, single line distribution and 75 percent of those were first time clients," Hamler Fugitt says.
Hamler Fugitt says the situation would be even worse if it weren’t for the Ohio National Guard. Governor DeWine deployed members on March 23rd to help with distribution throughout the state. She says low-income families who get food stamps are having difficulty finding food in stores right now. And she’s urging Ohioans to take only what they need so there is enough food to go around.