PHONE: 740-432-2381
Food Assistance
Food assistance eligibility, determined by the Public Assistance Eligibility Specialists of Guernsey County Job and Family Services, is based on federal guidelines including income, allowable expenses (rent/mortgage, utility bills, child care, child support for child(ren) paid outside of the home, medical expenses for individuals 60 years of age or older or who are considered disabled), household size and resources in some situations. Over one million Ohioans receive food assistance each month.

Most households, whose gross monthly income is below 130% of the federal poverty guidelines, may qualify for food assistance. Follow this link to the Food & Nutrition Service Pre-Screening Tool to see if you might be eligible to receive food assistance.

Depending on your household's situation, you will have a review (recertification) of your eligibility for benefits at least once every 12 months or more often if your household is experiencing a lot of changes or has earned income.

(OAC 5101:4-1-13 (A). In accordance with Federal law and USDA policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, nation origin, sex, age, religious beliefs, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to:USDA Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W,Whitten Building, 1400 Independence SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; or call (202)-720-5964

FNS Nondiscrimination Statement                             

Could I be eligible?
Income Guidelines

Some people may be required to participate in our JOBS program in order to receive food assistance, while some people may meet exemptions and not be required to work. Required recipients must sign an Employability Plan and participate with work activity assignments. Employability Plan non-compliance could result in a sanction. Click the following link to learn more about work activities, participation requirements, and sanctions.

To ensure that you receive the correct amount of food assistance benefits, GCJFS may use your SSN to check with other agencies or people to make sure the information that you’ve provided is accurate.

People in Household

Gross Monthly Income Limits

Maximum Monthly Benefits

























How do I apply?

Complete and submit an application in one of the following ways:

  • In person at agency during regular business hours (M-F 8:00 am – 4:00 pm)
  • Complete phone application by calling 1-844-640-6446
  • Fax to agency at 740-432-1952
  • Mail to Guernsey County JFS, 324 Highland Avenue, Cambridge, OH 43725
  • Slip in drop box at the agency front door (24/7)
  • Apply online through the State of Ohio – Online Benefit Application
  • E-Mail agency at [email protected].gov
What verifications are needed?

Bringing these bills, records, and verifications with you will save you time, speed up the time you may need to wait to get food stamp benefits, and avoid return trips to the agency.

  • Identification of person making the application. (Drivers License or State ID)
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of all household income (employment, self-employment, Child Support, unemployment, SSI, disability, SSD, pension, etc)
  • Proof of housing costs (rent/mortgage, property taxes, house insurance)
  • Proof of utility costs (heating or cooling bill)
  • Proof of any child support you are legally required to pay to someone living outside your home
  • Proof of any dependent care costs you pay to someone who lives outside your home
  • Proof of medical costs if disabled or age 60 or older
  • Additional verifications may be requested or required
What happens after I submit my application?
  • You or your Authorized Representative are required to have an interview with a Public Assistance caseworker.  Applicants are seen Monday through Friday 8:00am to 4:00pm 
  • Special appointments can be arranged if you are unable to come during regular business hours
  • Eligibility determination is required within 30 days of application
What changes do I need to report?

If you do not tell your GCJFS about a change, you may not get all the benefits you are entitled to receive OR you may receive more benefits than you should. If you get help you shouldn’t have received, you may have to pay it back.

To see what changes need to be reported and what necessary documentation is required to verify that change you can review the Food Assistance Change Reporting Form.  When applicable, please print, complete, and return the form and necessary verification to your caseworker at: Guernsey County JFS, 324 Highland Avenue, Cambridge, Ohio  43725. 
Or, fax to:  740-432-1952. 

Links and Resources:
Report Changes
State of Ohio – Online Benefit Application

Food Assistance Payment Method

Food assistance benefits are dispersed through the Ohio Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system, also known as the Ohio Direction Card. At the grocery store checkout counter, the client enters a pin number and scans the card, the amount purchased is deducted electronically via a plastic card from the individual’s or family’s total monthly allotment of food assistance benefits.

If you have any questions concerning your Ohio Direction card, including your PIN number, usage and balance information, if you have not received your card in the mail, or if you've lost your card and need a replacement, please call 1-866-386-3071 and follow the prompts for your specific request. You can also link directly to the Ohio Direction Card website for more information.

You CANNOT use the Ohio Direction Card to buy:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Cigarettes and tobacco products
  • Vitamins
  • Medicines
  • Pet food
  • Paper goods
  • Household goods such as cleaning supplies
  • Food that will be eaten in the grocery store
  • Hot foods that are ready to eat in the grocery store
  • Food sold to be heated while you are still in the grocery store.
  • Most other items that are not food
Food Assistance Fraud

Food Assistance Fraud

You can be charged with fraud if you hide information or your do not tell the truth about yourself and your household. You can be charge with fraud if your do not report a change that might affect your case.

The crimes you can be charged with include theft by deception, perjury, falsification, or trafficking of food assistance benefits. If found guilty of any of these crimes, you can be stopped from getting food assistance benefits in the future. You could be fined as much as $250,000 or jailed for up to 20 years or both. You could be made to pay back the assistance you received improperly. There are federal laws that apply to food assistance fraud which can also be applied.

It is a crime if you:

  • Trade or sell the benefits on the Ohio Direction Card
  • Use someone else’s Ohio Direction Card without authorization
  • Use the Ohio Direction Care to buy non-food items
Guernsey County JFS
324 Highland Avenue Cambridge, OH 43725
Phone: 740-432-2381 | 800-307-8422
Fax: 740-432-1952

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