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Food stamp assistance available

June 16, 2009
By JULIE GHRIST, staff writer

MINGO JUNCTION - Unemployment continues to grow in the Ohio Valley, and more families are seeking help to cover the costs of utilities and food.

As a result, Mingo Social Services officials have asked a food stamp outreach counselor to visit the village and aid residents who qualify for assistance.

Sophie Schoolcraft, director of Mingo Social Services, stated Brian Taylor, an employee of the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, will be at the Mingo Senior Center on Commercial Street from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 23 to speak with Jefferson and Harrison counties residents about food stamp assistance.

Taylor also will then help residents apply for food stamps through an Internet engine created by the state.

"Through this system, I can input the information and submit it directly to a county Department of Job and Family Services, thus saving the individual valuable time and the county workers valuable time as well," Taylor said.

"Those qualifying for benefits will instantly receive a form identifying what information they must collect and take with them when they interview with the Department of Job and Family Services case worker," he noted.

"Our hope is this outreach will assist those in need by identifying services for which they qualify and provide them with the details, directions and counseling needed in order to expedite the process and secure the assistance they need in these difficult times," Taylor added.

People who are unemployed or are considered low-income households are welcome to attend, Schoolcraft said. She noted some of the criteria have changed regarding the qualifications for assistance, so anyone believing they are eligible should attend.

Mingo Social Services will provide refreshments throughout the day.

The Mid-Ohio Food Bank is a member of Feeding America and is "dedicated to feeding hungry people by collecting and distributing food and grocery products, advocating hunger-relief programs and collaborating with others who address basic human needs," officials said.

For information, contact Schoolcraft at (740) 535-9161.

(Ghrist can be contacted at

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