Job & Family Services Office of Family Assistance
Food Assistance

Apply online for food assistance.

Read more about requesting cash, medical or food assistance.

Apply in person at your local county agency or to request an application be mailed to you.

**Fax all verifications directly to your County Department of Job & Family Services**

ODJFS is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Ohio Direction Card/EBT

 Ohio EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) is the electronic distribution of food assistance benefits. Benefits are accessed with the Ohio Direction Card. The Ohio Direction Card is similar to commercial debit and ATM cards. Most Ohio grocery stores accept the Ohio Direction Card.


  • Safer and more secure than carrying cash or checks
  • Faster payment
  • Convenient and easy to use

EBT Informational Materials: Ohio Direction Card English
EBT Informational Materials: Ohio Direction Card Spanish
EBT Related Links

EBT in Ohio Farmers' Markets

The Office of Family Assistance is committed to improve Ohio's Food Assistance Program and the benefits it provides to recipients. The Ohio Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) Farmers' Markets provide food assistance customers access to locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Find out how you can join or to locate a participating EBT Farmers' Market in your community.

Federal Commodity Food Programs


The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) is a Federal program that helps low-income people, including elderly people,by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost.


The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a federal nutrition assistance program that provides low-income, elderly individuals with a monthly box of food. The box does not contain a complete diet, but provides nutrients typically lacking in the diets of the elderly population. It includes a variety of foods, such as cheese; nonfat dry and Ultra High Temperature (UHT) milk; juice; oats and ready-to-eat cereal; rice and pasta; peanut butter; dry beans or peas; canned meat, poultry or fish; and canned fruits and vegetables. All of Ohio’s 88 counties participate in CSFP.

Food Programs Manual

The Food Programs Manual was developed in compliance with federal program guidelines and regulations. The manual impacts state and local administration of both federal nutrition assistance programs. Local level administration is conducted by an emergency food provider network, consisting of approximately 3,307 agencies; i.e. food banks, food pantries and congregate meal sites throughout the state. The network is required to maintain either an electronic or hard copy version of the Food Programs Manual at all sites.

Food Safety Recalls

The best way for anyone to get email notification of all food recalls is by signing up for free email updates from www.recalls.gov. This is a one-stop shop for U.S. Government recalls. We encourage everyone who needs recall information to sign up today! It's easy. Follow these few steps and you will receive an instant acknowledgement of your subscription from the Department of Health and Human Services.

  1. Log on to www.recalls.gov
  2. Click on the Food tab at the top
  3. Click on "Sign Up for Free Recall Updates by E-Mail" (in red toward top of page)
  4. This takes you to the Department of Health and Human Services signup page, where you will:
    1. Enter your email address and confirm same; and
    2. Check the box titled FoodSafety.gov Recalls and Alerts under the FoodSafety.gov Updates section.

State Food Programs

Ohio Food Program (OFP) is funded by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services through an annual grant for the purchase and distribution of food products by the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks to eligible households through the Ohio foodbank network. These food items supplement the distribution of food products acquired through TEFAP, private purchase and /or donation. Food items purchased include canned vegetables, applesauce, beef stew, tuna, hot dogs, canned soup, macaroni & cheese, spaghetti sauce and pasta.

The Agriculture Surplus Production Alliance (OASPA) develops a statewide link between farmers, growers and food processors who have nutritious, surplus agricultural products, and the Ohio foodbank network, and strengthens the infrastructure of the emergency food providers through capacity building. Funded by the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services through the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks, this partnership provides fresh processed Ohio-grown products to eligible persons and supports enhancements to the emergency food provider to improve storage and distribution systems. Fresh products include fresh fruits and vegetables, eggs and meat, all Ohio grown!

SNAP Employment and Training (E&T) Plan

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Employment and Training (E&T) Program is coordinated with Ohio’s more comprehensive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work and training program called Ohio Works First (OWF). The purpose of SNAP E&T is to assist individuals participating in the SNAP program to gain skills, training, or work experience that will increase their ability to obtain employment and ultimately become self-sufficient.

County SNAP E&T Plans

Related links

Feeding America
Find food banks that are in the area and guidelines for the progams.
Food and Nutrition Services
Locate food nutrition programs that help children and low-income people to resources in the area of health and nutrition education.
Ohio Department of Aging Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program
Find what counties the farmer markets can be found along with guidelines for eligibility.
USDA/Farm Service Agency
Information that helps stabilize farmers income, helping them with resources.
USDA/Food Safety and Inspection Service
Information on Food Safety Inspection Services (FSIS).
Find information on the Commodity Supplemental Food Program.
Find information on the Emergency Food Assistance program.
WIC - Women Infants, and Children
Locate supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to infants and children who are found to be a nutritional risk.