Athens County Residents’ Struggle For Food

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Ohio ranks as one of the worst states for food insecurity. 

As defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food insecurity means the lack of access for enough food to live an active and healthy life. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 32% of all Athens County residents live below the Federal Poverty Level.

One in six residents receive food assistance, but according to Athens Community Job and family Services Spokeswoman Arian Smedley, Ohio residents overall have been receiving less benefits than before.

"We've seen a drop in the number of benefit levels in food assistance in the las few years," said Smedley. "There's been a drop of 12%, in fact, statewide. So an individual a month would get $139. Now, they're getting $129 and that's not a lot of money."

The USDA clarified that about 14% of all households are food-insecure.  Most of them are adult indivduals who belong to a food-insecure households that experience the blunt end of food insecurity.