‘Restored my faith in humanity;’ Fairborn church helps family that has SNAP benefits stolen

FAIRBORN — A local church is coming together to help a local woman who had her SNAP benefits stolen from her.

Montgomery County Job and Family Services (MCJFS) helps more than 70,000 county residents that receive SNAP benefits, but more and more people, including a Dayton woman we reported on Monday, are losing benefits due to fraud.

Teresa McDaniel told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell that said she lost a whole month’s worth of benefits. Records showed she shopped at a Massachusetts grocery store that she never shopped at.

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People saw her story and took action. Our team was there when Pastor Gene Cline met McDaniel and her husband to give them a gift card that covered the entire amount they lost. It was all courtesy of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Fairborn.

“It just made me gasp that someone had their benefits stolen,” Cline said.

The pastor told Campbell that the leaders of his small church felt it was a no-brainer to reach out and help the McDaniels.

“We’re called to be an example of Jesus, who went around caring for people in need,” he said.

A teary-eyed McDaniel said the gift would help their family “tremendously.”

The McDaniels are just happy the community helped them after her husband’s medical issues ended his landscaping business and McDaniel lost her job.

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“[This] kind of restored my faith in humanity,” she said.

McDaniel agreed to talk to News Center 7 because she believes SNAP fraud is rising and MCJFS agrees. They’ve received 46 complaints of stolen benefits this year. 31 of those complaints have come in this month.

Officials said this rise is due to skimmers at stores or data breaches at online shopping retailers. They also told us that more help for victims is on the way. Congress gave approval last December to replace stolen benefits due to card skimmers. The Ohio plan to implement that law was approved on May 11 and MCJFS is now waiting for state guidelines.

MCJFS workers believe it could be as soon as next month that they will be able to replace the benefits of those that fall victim to card skimmers and lose their food assistance.

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