Food Assistance

Food Assistance helps families stretch their food budgets to buy healthy food. The program is designed to increase nutritional levels and safeguard the health and well-being of Fairfield County residents.  Benefits are distributed on a “Ohio Direction Card” which can be used like a debit card at the grocery store.

Healthy people under 60 also participate in Food Assistance Employment and Training (FAET) while receiving food assistance to help them gain work experience and move toward self-sufficiency.

Ultimately, food assistance helps families meet their basic needs while adults work toward financial stability.

Food Assistance (formerly known as the food stamp program) is known nationally as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.



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How can I get emergency food assistance (food basket or box)?

  • Fairfield County 211: Can assist with providing a referral for an emergency food order. They can be contacted by dialing 211 or (740) 687-0500 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Community Action: Once a month a customer may request a food box by calling (740) 653-4146 between the hours of 8 a.m. to 4:30  p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Expedited Food Assistance: All food assistance applications will be screened for expedited food assistance. If it is determined that your application is expedited, you will have your interview conducted within one business day.   

Do I qualify?

  • Eligibility for food assistance is complex – based on family size, income and expenses – but both families and individuals may be eligible to receive food assistance.

    You may qualify for benefits if your household’s gross monthly income is at or under 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Some households may qualify if they have incomes over the limit if someone in the household is elderly or disabled. To get a better idea of if you may qualify, use the USDA’s food assistance calculator or apply for food assistance.

Could I be eligible for the Food Assistance Program?

  • *Your eligibility for Ohio Food Assistance benefits depends on your gross income (before taxes), your household size, shelter expenses,current assets and other factors.
  • People in Household

    Gross Monthly Income Limits

    Maximum Amount of Food Assistance Per Month You Could Receive

    1

    $1,287

    $194

    2

    $1,736

    $357

    3

    $2,184

    $511

    4

    $2,633

    $649

    5

    $3,081

    $771

    6

    $3,530

    $925

How do I apply?

  • Complete and submit the following application: click here or apply online
  • In person at our agency during regular business hours (Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)
  • By mailing a completed application: FCJFS 239 W. Main St. Lancaster, OH 43130
  • By dropping a completed application in the agency drop box located in the front of our building, open 24 hours.
  • By faxing a completed application to 740-689-4848

What verifications are needed?

  • Identification (Drivers License or State ID)
  • Proof of citizenship, or alien registration card/I-94
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of all income (employment, child support, disability,
  • unemployment, etc.)
  • Proof of housing (rent/mortgage) costs
  • Proof of utility costs
  • Proof of medical costs if age 60 or older, or if disabled
  • Proof of disability (if applicable)
  • Additional verification may be requested or required

What happens after I submit my application?

  • We will call you to conduct an interview over the phone. We also offer face to face appointments for you or your Authorized Representative Monday-Friday 8:00 am-4:00 pm.
  • If you cannot conduct your appointment during regular business hours, you will receive a telephone call to complete an interview by telephone.

Nondiscrimination Statement

  • In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.
  • To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:
    • mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
      Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
      1400 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
    • fax: (202) 690-7442
    • email: program.intake@usda.gov

We are required to determine eligibility within 30 days of your application.

For additional information on the food assistance program please click here