Ohio Benefit Bank
An effort to launch The Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) began in 2006 when the National Council of Churches (NCC) approached The Columbus Foundation to support the introduction of the Benefit Bank in Ohio. OBB is a web-based, counselor-assisted program that helps Ohioans apply for and receive benefits including health coverage, energy assistance, food assistance, and tax help. Later that year, the Foundation issued a Critical Need Alert to donors, asking them to help fight poverty among the working poor. More than $114,000 was contributed by donors, $100,000 of which was matched by the Foundation. In total, $214,500 was awarded to NCC. Soon after, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks (formerly Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks) assumed responsibility for the program.
In 2012, The Ohio Association of Foodbanks was presented with a Bicentennial Leadership Award and a grant for $200,000 to enable The Ohio Benefit Bank to expand its program with three new components encouraging education, health, and financial literacy.
One of the Foundation’s most significant initiatives, TCF and its donors have granted $3.17 million to OBB as of July 2013, leveraging $971 million, and serving 461,000 people in 308,000 households. More than 4,200 trained counselors are helping individuals and families across Ohio at more than 1,200 OBB sites.
For more information contact Emily Savors.