Plan announced to preserve FoodShare benefits for 255K households

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) and Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) in conjunction with Hunger Task Force and the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association have announced legislation to protect low-income Wisconsinites from the 2014 Farm Bill’s impending cuts to FoodShare.

Wisconsin participates in the federal “Heat and Eat” program, which allows low-income households to receive a boost in FoodShare benefits if they receive a minimum of $1 in low-income energy assistance.

The 2014 Farm Bill raised the Heat and Eat energy assistance minimum from $1 to $20 per household, effectively cutting FoodShare benefits for 255,000 Wisconsin households.

“Wisconsin should not stand idly by as Congress makes spending cuts on the backs of our most vulnerable residents,” said Rep. Shankland. “Wisconsin’s working families deserve action. That’s why governors in half of the sixteen states targeted by the Heat and Eat cuts have already acted to stop these harmful cuts.”

“Hunger isn’t partisan, feeding people isn’t political. We need to do what is right,” said Hunger Task Force Executive Director Sherrie Tussler.

Rep. Goyke addressed his remarks directly to Governor Scott Walker. “You know the communities that will be hurt the most. Stand with your neighbors, not with Congress. If the Legislature won’t act, please use your Executive Order power to ensure your neighbors don’t go hungry.”

According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, allocating $5.4 million of federal funds to the Heat and Eat program would preserve $276.2 million in FoodShare benefits for Wisconsin families. No state money would be used.