Food Pantries Closing Amid High Demand from Ohio Residents

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — About 40 food pantries have closed or merged since June 2014 around Ohio, a state that a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture report ranks as among the worst in the nation for food insecurity.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that Ohio Association of Foodbanks officials think the closures are the result of a higher demand after a work requirement caused many people to be taken off food stamps in 2013.

The requirement says that able-bodied adults ages 18 to 50 who don’t have dependents must spend at least 20 hours a week working, attending class, volunteering or training for a job to get food assistance.

State officials say there’s no evidence that work requirements cause large numbers of people to be taken off food stamps.