A new study by the non-profit Food Research and Action Center ranks Ohio 18th worst in the nation for food hardship.
The report covers every state, the District of Columbia, and 108 metropolitan areas. It shows Ohio’s food hardship rate is 16.2 percent. Food hardship indicates someone does not have enough money to buy needed food. The national rate rose by half-a-point last year to 15.7 percent. The food hardship rate for households with children is 1.3 times higher than for households without children. The Ohio Association of Foodbanks says the report helps identify gaps in services and determine how to respond. Spokesperson Lisa Hamler-Fugitt says social-service groups and government agencies could strengthen nutrition programs, residents could ask elected leaders for more assistance and companies could provide jobs with better pay and benefits.