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Food Assistance Program

The Food Assistance program helps buy food for your family. It is designed to raise nutritional levels and assist in the well-being of individuals in low-income households.

Who Can Get Food Assistance?

Families and individuals can receive this benefit. Eligibility is based on factors such as family size, assets (checking and savings accounts, stocks and bonds etc) income, expenses and resources.

Ohio Direction Card

Food Assistance Benefits are issued through the Ohio Direction Card. The Ohio Direction Card is a debit card. Customers cannot use more benefits than they are eligible to receive. When families use the card at the grocery store, the purchase is automatically deducted from their monthly benefit.

The Ohio Direction Card can be used at all grocery stores that display the Ohio Direction Card at their location.

Man Holding Groceries 

What can be bought with help from the food assistance program?

Food, as well as seeds and plants to grow food.

You cannot use your Ohio Direction card to buy:

  • Pet food
  • Paper products
  • Household goods such as cleaning supplies
  • Food sold to be heated while you are still in the grocery store
  • Alcohol, tobacco, vitamins and medicines

When you apply for Food Assistance you will need to bring some verifications with you to complete the application process. Typically the items include:

  • Your original Birth Certificate
  • Your original Social Security card
  • Proof of age and citizenship
  • Proof of any income you receive
  • Proof of assets, such as bank account statements
  • Proof of housing costs and address
  • Proof of any child support benefits
  • Proof of disability (if you claim it)

What are the income guidelines?

Households whose gross monthly income is within 130% of the federal poverty level guidelines and whose resources do not exceed $2,000 ($3,250 if at least age 60). Resources of and SSI or OWF household member are excluded.

Household Size 130% Gross Income
1 1,180
2 1,594
3 2,008
4 2,422
5 2,836
6 3,249
7 3,663
8 4,077

It is a crime to trade or sell the Ohio Direction Card, use someone’s card without authorization, and use the Ohio Direction Card to buy non- food items.

In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, nation origin, sex, age, religious beliefs, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to: USDA Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or call (202) 720-5964.

If you are having problems regarding your Ohio Direction Card (the new food stamp card) please call 1-866-386-3071.

To download an application:

Request for Cash, Food Assistance and Medical Assistance

Request for Cash, Food Assistance and Medical Assistance (Spanish)

To apply for benefits online: https://odjfsbenefits.ohio.gov/SelfServiceSplash.jsf