Legal Aid Helps Those Struggling With Food Insecurity During COVID

Prior to COVID-19, more than 37 million people in America struggled with hunger each year, including more than 11 million children. The economic impact of the pandemic left even more families without the means for meals.

There are a number of resources available to those who are struggling with food insecurity issues. Legal Aid regularly helps clients put food on the table by connecting them with critical benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps.

One person Legal Aid helped recently is Frankie Subhani (name changed to protect privacy). Frankie, who is an insulin-dependent diabetic, applied for the SNAP program in April. It is important for Frankie to eat regular meals so he can maintain a healthy blood sugar level and avoid life-threatening illness. Unfortunately, weeks passed and he never received the Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card he needed to purchase groceries.

Thankfully, a food bank connected Frankie with Legal Aid. A Legal Aid attorney advocated on Frankie’s behalf, and negotiated with Job and Family Services so an expedited EBT card could be sent to Frankie’s home. When postal issues delayed the delivery of Frankie’s card for another month, the attorney connected him with urgent food delivery from the Food Bank. When Frankie’s EBT card finally arrived, he had more than $800 in benefits.

If you are facing food insecurity and need legal help, call Legal Aid at 888-817-3777. You can also apply for help online any time at All Legal Aid services are free of charge.  

Legal representation is not the only way Legal Aid can help you. Legal Aid’s website,, has up-to-date information and resources available 24/7. The “Get Help” section features information on accessing public benefits, including SNAP. It also contains brochures, answers to frequently asked questions, and self-help materials.

Maintaining food security is tightly linked with job and housing security. These necessities often conflict with the need for food. Legal Aid has two phone lines available 24/7 for people with questions about housing law and work-related issues: the Tenant Information Line and the Worker Information Line. You can leave a message at both lines at any time, and a specialist from Legal Aid will return your call within 1-2 business days, between 9:00am and 5:00pm.

Tenant Information Line:

  • Cuyahoga County: 216-861-5955
  • Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga and Lorain County:  440-210-4533

Worker Information Line:

  • Cuyahoga County: 216-861-5899
  • Ashtabula, Lake, Geauga and Lorain County: 440-210-4532

Danilo Powell-Lima

Development and Communications Assistant at The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland.

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Volume 16, Issue 23, Posted 9:59 AM, 12.02.2020