MARION COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – Tonight as the government shutdown continues county officials are making sure folks using SNAP benefits hope for the best but prepare for the worse. The county’s job and family services held a public meeting to answer questions about benefits in March and how to prepare should the government shutdown continue.
During the public meeting, many expressed their concerns about the government shutdown. It’s still in full effect as thousands of families worry about where their next meal is coming from Marion resident Robin Sheffield said she’s concerned for her community.
“At the moment I’m in a better place but that doesn’t mean that tomorrow I won’t be. I’m here for myself as well as my community,” said Sheffield.
It wasn’t that long ago when Sheffield needed and used food stamps. The government shutdown has strengthened her compassion for those suffering through it.
“I’m concerned. Concerned for myself, the community,” said Sheffield.
Roxane Somerlot, with Marion County Job and Family Services, said since the shutdown, calls keep coming in because folks are scared they might not have SNAP benefits in March.
“We have been overwhelmed with phone calls. Not even from our county but other states,” said Somerlot.
Folks said SNAP recipients need to spend wisely until the shutdown is over.
“Be thoughtful about purchases. Try to make those benefits last. Rely on the local resources of your community,” said Somerlot.
She also suggests buying canned and frozen fruits and veggies instead of fresh.
If you need further assistance with food, she suggests reaching out to the United Way.
She says benefits issued will carry for a year, so there’s no need to rush out and spend it.