States implement federal policy and they have the power to ensure that federal law fits the specific needs of the state.
Administrative or regulatory decisions or proposed legislation in the state house can have positive or negative effects on Wisconsin families who may need emergency food or benefits.
We support, advocate for, and educate elected and administration officials on state policies that:
- Increase access to fresh, nutritious food for Wisconsin families
- Ensure a strong, accessible, and effective FoodShare program
- Improve the health of Wisconsin families
Please sign up to be a Feeding Wisconsin Hunger Fighter to get more information and how you can get involved.
2021-2023 Biennial State Budget
As part of a $43 million investment in Wisconsin’s agricultural economy and farm families, Governor Evers proposed Investing $20 million to help connect WI food banks and pantries with Wisconsin producers to source nutritious foods for distribution.
We are grateful that Governor Evers is once again investing in hunger relief during this crisis. The Feeding Wisconsin network continues to see an elevated need that is expected to last years into recovery. Our food banks continue to distribute 50-80% more food than they did in 2019. Additional funding as proposed by the Governor will increase the purchasing power of our food banks to put Wisconsin grown and processed food on the tables of those experiencing food insecurity.
Last year the Governor directed $25M of WI’s CARES Act funding to the Food Security Initiative—just over $12M of those funds came through our food banks and pantries increasing infrastructure capacity and purchasing over $10M in WI ag products--beef, pork, cheese, butter, canned, frozen and fresh produce, etc. Funding through the state budget could operate in a similar manner to support food banks and pantries as they continue to meet the need and distribute more food than ever before.
As a package this proposal directs funds to those who produce our food. Our farmers, producers and processors are the heart of this state and without them, we are unable to do our work of ending hunger.
Governor’s Emergency Order's Impact on SNAP Benefit Allotment
Under a public health emergency order, Wisconsin Department of Health Services is able to provide households not currently receiving the maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit amount with additional benefits bringing them up to the maximum amount. This policy has provided individuals experiencing food insecurity with added resources to put food on their table and added purchasing power to support our local economies during an especially challenging time. If the COVID-19 public health emergency order is voted down, many Wisconsinites will lose these important SNAP benefits. Feeding Wisconsin urges legislators to maintain the COVID-19 public health emergency order in order to maintain the vital benefits putting food on the tables of Wisconsinites.
As of December 2020, Wisconsin’s FoodShare program counted 740,684 recipients – an increase of 138,500 people, or 23%, over the same month in 2019. Driven upward by COVID-19, the number of households in the program now totals 391,752, an increase of 79,000 (25%) over last year (DHS). While SNAP supports families, SNAP also supports the whole U.S. food chain from farmers and processors to retailers and manufacturers. Every $1 in SNAP benefits generates roughly $1.79 in economic activity in America (USDA).
In addition, SNAP provided a total of $1.3 billion in benefits directly to Wisconsin families to access food through mainstream distribution in 2020. As we anticipate that demand will continue far into the new year as the pandemic and resulting economy crisis continues to threaten the wellbeing of our communities, our network will be faced with a demand greater than that which we can fulfill without the support of the USDA through the SNAP program.