5101:4-1-04 Food assistance: benefit issuance and use.

(A) How are benefits issued?

Food assistance benefits are issued to assistance groups on an electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card using a direct access system known as an EBT on-line system.

(B) What can assistance groups use food assistance benefits for?

Food assistance benefits can be used by assistance group members to purchase eligible foods, including seeds and plants, for home consumption and use. Items allowed to be purchased with the EBT card are established by the United States department of agriculture (UDSA) food and nutrition service (FNS) and are set forth in rule 5101:4-1-03 of the Administrative Code.

(C) Must an applicant have a place to prepare food to be eligible for benefits?

Assistance groups are not required to have cooking facilities or access to cooking facilities to be eligible for the program.

(D) Where can an EBT card be used?

Local FNS field offices are responsible for the licensing and monitoring of retail food stores participating in the food assistance program. FNS will authorize participation of:

(1) Retail food outlets;

(2) Communal dining facilities;

(3) Meals on wheels programs;

(4) Drug and alcohol treatment centers;

(5) Residents of group living arrangements;

(6) Cooperatives;

(7) Homeless meal providers;

(8) Shelters for battered women and children; and

(9) Soup kitchens.

(E) What is a communal dining facility?

A communal dining facility is a public or nonprofit establishment, approved by FNS, which prepares and serves meals for elderly persons or supplemental security income (SSI) recipients and their spouses. It also includes senior citizens' centers, apartment buildings occupied primarily by the elderly or SSI recipients and their spouses, or private nonprofit establishments (eating or otherwise) that feed elderly persons or SSI recipients and their spouses, and federally subsidized housing for the elderly at which meals are prepared for and served to the residents.

(F) When is it allowable to use an EBT card for a meals on wheels program?

Eligible assistance group members, sixty years of age or over, or members who are housebound, physically handicapped, or otherwise disabled to the extent they are unable to adequately prepare all their meals, and their spouses, may use benefits issued to them to purchase meals from a nonprofit meal delivery service authorized by FNS.

(G) When can an EBT card be used at a cooperative?

Benefits may be used to purchase food at any private nonprofit cooperative authorized by FNS, including those whose members pay for food prior to its receipt.

Replaces: 5101:4-5-15

Effective: 01/01/2011
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 01/01/2016
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.54
Rule Amplifies: 329.04 , 329.042 , 5101.54
Prior Effective Dates: 6/2/80, 12/1/80, 6/12/83, 3/24/88 (Emer.), 6/18/88, 12/1/94, 5/1/96, 2/1/99, 10/01/01(Emer.), 10/11/01, 8/1/05