Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cuts in Food Assistance Will Harm Wisconsin Children

Children in low-income families will bear the brunt of reductions in FoodShare benefits (also known as food stamps) that go into effect on Friday, according to a new Wisconsin Budget Project report. Last year, 1 in 3 Wisconsin children received food assistance through the FoodShare program.

The Recovery Act included a modest boost to food assistance benefits, aimed at both helping families hit hard by the recession, and giving a shot in the arm to local economies. That boost expires at the end of October, and all people receiving FoodShare in will experience a reduction in their benefits at that time. A family of three will have its benefit cut by about $29 a month.

Children make up a large share of those who benefit from FoodShare in Wisconsin, so the reduction in benefits will hit children especially hard. Statewide, 452,000 Wisconsin children received FoodShare benefits in 2012. In some areas of the state, SNAP is such an important support for families that more than half of the children receive assistance over the course of the year. In six Wisconsin counties – Menominee, Milwaukee, Adams, Sawyer, Burnett, and Washburn – a majority of the children received assistance at some point in 2012, as shown in the chart below. In Milwaukee County alone, 146,000 children received SNAP benefits in 2012.
For more information on how reducing benefit levels or restricting eligibility during slow economic times makes it harder for Wisconsin families to put food on the table, read the new Wisconsin Budget Project report.

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