During the pandemic most JFS workers have been working remotely and Morrison said they have been able to handle the influx of applications well, partially due to the fact some rules were relaxed by the state. One example was the workers just had to make a phone to landlords instead of having to get a paper copy of rent verification.
“Our timeliness and accuracy is the best it’s ever been,” Morrison said. “I think remote working has worked much better than anybody could have expected.”
Food stamp assistance is a federal program overseen by states and administered by counties.
Assistant Director Shannon Glendon said now that rule relaxation is going away and lock-downs aren’t mandatory they are getting busier. She said traffic is picking up in the temporary lobby they set up in a conference room on the first floor of the Government Services Center.
Statistics from the Ohio Department of Job and Family services showed in May this year there were 19,210 households on food stamps, 22,263 adults and 20,377 children. Last year in May there were 15,040 households, 17,136 adults and 15,697 children.
JFS is still handling a heavy workload, 40,401 people in September. Glendon said they have a plan.
“In the pandemic, when the crisis started to unfold we had seen a decrease in people accessing in-person services,” Glendon said. “As we see that traffic increase we are looking at ways where we can help people to use more of our self-service options.”