SNAP recipients may receive benefits for food spoilage

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients who experienced food spoilage during the power outages may be eligible for replacement benefits, said the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in a news release.

Households that lost food purchased with SNAP benefits due to a power outage of four hours or more can apply to receive replacement SNAP benefits for the amount of food the household lost. However, the amount should not exceed their monthly allotment. Replacement SNAP benefits will be added to recipients’ Ohio Direction Card, said the agency.

Impacted households must complete JFS Form 07222 within 10 days of the loss and submit it to their county Department of Job and Family Services. In order for the county agencies to verify the extended power outage before replacing benefits, Job and Family Services encourage households to provide verification of the extended power outage. This can include screen shots of news reports, text or email alerts, or outage maps that show their specific area was without power for four hours or more.

To find a county office, visit jfs.ohio.gov/county. 

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Food Safety During A Power Outage

Chow Line: Food safety during a power outage

Published on June 15, 2022

I’ve got a fridge full of food and our power went out for several hours due to severe storms. Is there any food that can be saved, or do I have to throw everything out of our fridge due to spoilage?

It’s that time of year when severe weather can leave consumers without power for a few minutes to multiple days, in some instances. Rounds of severe weather and extreme heat have already impacted many consumers nationwide this spring, with thousands experiencing widespread power outages issues in Ohio and throughout the country.

It’s incredibly frustrating to think you must discard groceries that you’ve just purchased due to a power outage. Understanding the basics of food safety and how perishable foods are impacted when the temperature is 40 degrees Fahrenheit or more can help you decide if your food is still safe.

One of the biggest factors in deciding whether the foods in your household will spoil during a power outage is the duration of the power loss. Generally speaking, perishable foods that have been in temperatures above 40 degrees for two hours or more will need to be discarded to avoid the potential for food borne illnesses, said Sanja Ilic, food safety state specialist, Ohio State University Extension. OSU Extension is the outreach arm of The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES).

“This is because food that isn’t maintained at proper temperatures can enter the “danger zone,” a range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees at which bacteria grows most rapidly,” she said.

If your power goes out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible. If not opened, a refrigerator without power will keep food cold for about four hours. A half-full freezer will hold its temperature for about 24 hours, and for 48 hours if the freezer is full, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Always keep a thermometer in the refrigerator so you know the precise inside air temperature, said Kate Shumaker, an OSU Extension educator and registered dietitian.

“You can also keep several ice cubes in a zipper bag or small container in the freezer as a way to monitor the temperature,” she said. “If the ice cubes have melted, the temperature was above 32 degrees.”

Once the power is back on, check your food to make sure it is safe to eat, making sure to check each item separately.

According to FoodSafety.gov, here is the list of perishable foods you’d need to discard if they’ve been at 40 degrees or higher for two hours or more:

  • Meat, poultry, and seafood products
  • Soft cheeses and shredded cheeses
  • Milk, cream, yogurt, and other dairy products
  • Opened baby formula
  • Eggs and egg products
  • Dough and cooked pasta
  • Cooked or cut produce

FoodSafety.gov says the following perishable foods are generally OK to keep after they’ve been held at 40 degrees or higher for more than two hours:

  • Hard cheeses such as cheddar, colby, Swiss, Parmesan, provolone, and Romano
  • Grated Parmesan, Romano, or a combination of both in a can or a jar
  • Butter and margarine
  • Opened fruit juices
  • Opened, canned fruits
  • Jelly, relish, taco sauce, mustard, ketchup, olives, and pickles
  • Worcestershire, soy, barbecue, and hoisin sauces
  • Peanut butter
  • Opened, vinegar-based dressings
  • Breads, rolls, cakes, muffins, quick breads, and tortillas
  • Breakfast foods such as waffles, pancakes, and bagels
  • Fruit pies
  • Fresh mushrooms, herbs, and spices
  • Uncut, raw vegetables and fruits

Another safety rule of thumb is to throw away any food that has an unusual odor, color, or texture, or feels warm to the touch, the USDA advises. You should also check any of your frozen foods for ice crystals. The food in your freezer that partially or completely thawed may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals or is at 40 degrees or below.

“Some foods that might have completely thawed, such as raw meat, you might not want to refreeze due to a decrease in quality,” Shumaker said. “These products could be cooked first and then frozen in their cooked form—such as ground beef crumbles or chicken pieces.”

If your home was flooded, it is important that you throw away any food that may have come into contact with floodwater. That includes cartons of milk, juice or eggs and any raw vegetables and fruits. In fact, any foods in your home that aren’t in a waterproof container that came into contact with floodwater need to be thrown out.

Floodwater can seep into and contaminate foods packaged in plastic wrap or cardboard and in containers with screw-on caps, snap lids and pull tops, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service.

“Remember, when in doubt about the safety of the food item, throw it out. Never taste the food to decide if it is safe to eat,” Shumaker said.

Editor: This column was originally reviewed by Sanja Ilic, specialist in food safety for Ohio State University Extension, and Kate Shumaker, an OSU Extension educator and registered dietitian.


How long is food good in the fridge and freezer after a power outage?

https://www.dispatch.com/story/news/2022/06/15/how-long-will-food-last-refrigerator-freezer-no-power/7632248001/


Download PDF: Eat Safe Food after a Power Outage

https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/food-safety-during-a-power-outage.html

FREE Fruits and Veggies with Produce Perks!

Shop with SNAP/EBT and P-EBT at participating locations and get FREE fruits Shopper at Sparkle Marketand vegetables.

The Produce Perks program provides a $25 match on SNAP/EBT and P-EBT purchases. This means that any amount spent with SNAP/EBT or P-EBT, up to $25, will be matched $1-for-$1. Produce Perks matching dollars can be spent on fruits and vegetables.

You do not have to sign up for the Produce Perks program. Simply show up at the farmers’ market or grocery store with your EBT or P-EBT card, and you’re ready to go! Find a participation location here.

Community Development 4 All People Hiring AmeriCorps VISTA Member!

Thrive to 5 is currently recruiting our next AmeriCorps VISTA member. In this full-time year-long position, the VISTA will expand our program by recruiting volunteers, planning classes and events, creating community partnerships, and more! This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in a career in nonprofits, social services, public health, and/or early childhood education.

Benefits include:

  • Bi-weekly Living Stipend
  • Monthly Housing Allowance
  • Relocation Allowance, if applicable
  • Healthcare and Childcare Benefits available
  • End of Service Education Award or Cash Award
  • Professional Development Opportunities through the Ohio Association of Foodbanks and connection to other VISTAs serving across Ohio!

The full position description and application can be found on the AmeriCorps website: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=93561&fbclid=IwAR2Jz4W8NMS9pt-2PSmUoanQSZA6znIm-1ycbRWp3OPL5ji7ZS05NW0WX5g

Welcome Dietetic Intern, Angel DiPangrazio!

My name is Angel DiPangrazio and I am a dietetic intern at Utah State University. I am currently in my community rotation with OSU Extension Franklin County’s SNAP-Ed Program. Before starting my internship, I worked for the Franklin County WIC program for a year and absolutely loved getting to work with women, infants, and children in the community. I have a huge heart for working with those in the community and hope to continue this passion as I start my dietetics career.

This week I had the opportunity to join SNAP-Ed Program Coordinator, Danielle Seidita, at the Linden Fresh Market to talk to the community about the free nutrition classes SNAP-Ed offers and about MyPlate. We made Celebrate Your Plate’s Apple Oatmeal Muffins for folks to taste, provided the recipe, and distributed a class flyer with upcoming SNAP-Ed class dates. It was such a great opportunity to raise awareness about resources that are available as well as provide fun recipes and inspiration for how people can use the produce they pick at the market!

I also had the opportunity to join OSU Extension’s dietitian, Jenny Lobb, at All People’s Fresh Market food pantry for an ‘Ask a Dietitian’ table. We provided handouts on MyPlate, a pocket pal for understanding food labels, and a food magazine with fun and easy recipe ideas including fruits and vegetables. People would stop by as they shopped in the market and would ask any questions they had about food or nutrition. It was such a wonderful way to meet those in the community and make nutrition and health information easily accessible!

Join Us! Upcoming SNAP-Ed Classes:

The Linden Market Spring 2022

The Connection Center For All People _Spring 2022

FCS Educator, Jenny Lobb, and Dietetic Intern, Angel DiPangrazio, at All People’s Fresh Market, 2021

Pictured above is Dietetic Intern, Angel DiPangrazio, at The Linden Market, 2021

Spring into Healthier Eating with SNAP-Ed and The Linden Market!

The Linden Market provides free, fresh produce to any household earning less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. If you qualify and would like to become a member, stop by the market during open hours (Mondays 1 PM – 5 PM & Tuesdays – Fridays 11 AM – 4 PM). All you need with you is your ID! Households can get food from the market once a day, every day that the market is open! Questions? Call 614-298-4192 ext. 6 or email lindenmarket@4allpeople.net

Join SNAP-Ed at The Linden Market every other Wednesday at 10 AM starting March 30, 2022, for in-person community nutrition classes! Explore easy, healthy recipes, tips for eating more fruits and vegetables, and ideas for how to stretch your food budget. Want to know more? Contact Danielle Seidita at Seidita.2@osu.edu or (614) 292-8274. Download Class Flyer Here: Linden Market Spring 2022

Winter Travel Tips

As we prepare for yet another bout of winter weather coming our way, this Tips for Teens video will ensure that you are prepared for traveling in winter conditions and have your vehicle stocked and ready for whatever you may encounter.

This Tips for Teens video on Winter Travel Tips features Huron County 4-H Educator, Haley Evans. When traveling in the winter, even if it is not far away, it is good to ensure that you and your vehicle have what it takes to endure whatever conditions mother nature throws at us. This video will take you through some essential items that can be placed in your vehicle to help you in times of need along with how to read and check your tire pressure. You can view and share this video on the OSU Extension Professionals YouTube page at Winter Travel Tips.

In addition, all videos can be found on the Ohio 4-H website here: https://ohio4h.org/families/just-teens/tips-teens

Huron County 4-H Educator, Haley Evans – Evans.2135@osu.edu

Celebrate Black History – Join Central Community House for “Reflections”

Join Central Community House for Reflections. Celebrate Black History Month and learn about the Near Eastside from members of your community as they share their TRUTH. MC: Andre Barrett, Jr., Program Associate at Transit Arts, Musician, Vocalist, Poet; Musician: Johnae Spain, Coordinator at Transit Art, Violinist; Fun Family Art Piece: making a neighborhood (using items found at home). Reflection Speakers and Poets: Katerina Fuller, Program Manager at Transit Arts, Poet; Individuals from the Near East community and Greater Columbus area

  • When: Saturday, February 26, 2022 from 1pm – 4pm
  • Where: From the comfort of your home. Online only via Zoom
  • What: Storytelling. Art work. History. Community.

See the attached flyer for details and Register Here!