Food Assistance Program
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Food Assistance Benefits
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Assistance Program helps people with low income obtain nutritious foods. Food assistance can be used to purchase specific staples and grocery items at participating grocery stores.
What can be bought with food assistance benefits?
Food assistance benefits can be used to buy food or food products intended for human consumption. You cannot use food assistance benefits to buy alcoholic beverages, tobacco, or hot food and hot food products prepared to be eaten immediately. You can not: sell or trade food assistance benefits; buy non-food items (including soap and paper products); use food assistance benefits to buy food for someone who is not a member of the household.
Who can get food assistance benefits?
More than 600,000 Ohioans receive food assistance.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a Food Assistance Pre-Screening Eligibility Tool (Español). This Pre-Screening Tool can be used to determine if you may be eligible to receive Food Assistance benefits.
Eligibility for Food Assistance is determined by Seneca County DJFS and is based on monthly income, allowable expenses, resources and household size.
- Monthly Income is usually based on the most recent average monthly income of all household members.
- Allowable Expenses include medical expenses for individuals 60 years of age or older or who are considered disabled; dependent care costs; legally-obligated child support; and shelter costs (rent, mortgage, property taxes, gas, electric).
- Resources are no longer counted
- Household Size is the number of people who purchase and prepare meals together.
The income limits do not apply if each person in the household assistance group receives income form any the following programs: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Ohio Works First (OWF), or Ohio's Disability Assistance program (DA). Resources of an SSI or OWF household member are excluded.
Households whose gross monthly income is within 130% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines:
|Persons in Family|
|Each Add'l Person||Add $5,278|
Whose monthly income after all allowable expenses is within 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines:
|Persons in Family|
|Each Add'l Person||Add $4,060|
Some people may be required to participate in our JOBS program in order to receive food assistance. While some people may meet exemptions, and not be required to work.
How do I Apply?
1) Obtain & Complete an Application
You can apply online anytime at OHIO BENEFITS.
Or, You may call our office at 419-447-5011 or 800-825-5011 to have an application mailed to you.
Or, you may come to our office and pick up an application. Click here for our hours and location.
A case worker at our office can help you if you are having problems getting needed information.
2) Return the completed, signed Application
If you apply online, you can submit your application immediately, electronically as part of that process.
Or, you can mail your application to:
Seneca County DJFS
900 E CR 20
Tiffin, OH 448830
Or, submit your application by fax to: 419-447-5345
Or, come to our office. Clients are seen on a first come first serve basis from 8:00 am to 11:30 am, Monday thru Friday. Click here for our hours and location. You may also place your application in our drop-box next to the main entrance (at the back of the building), after hours.
It is important that you apply online, mail, fax, or deliver your application to our office as soon as possible as it could affect the effective date that you may be eligible to receive benefits.
3) Complete an Interview
To apply for assistance, you or your representative must complete an interview by phone or face to face. We will contact you after you complete and submit your application. The phone or face to face interview will then be scheduled and conducted.
At the time of application items such as citizenship, income, resources and expenses must be verified. Normal processing requires that benefits be issued or the application be denied within 30 days after the date the application is filed.
Note: This is only basic information. An accurate determination of eligibility for assistance requires an application be filed and an interview be conducted regarding each household's specific situation.
To find out more, contact Seneca County DJFS.
More information may also be obtained from the ODJFS Program Enrollment & Benefit Information Guide.