Advocating for policies at the state level can make a significant impact on improving the lives of families struggling close to home. 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 learn how you can get involved.
2023 Feeding Wisconsin State Advocacy Priorities
2023-25 Wisconsin Biennial Budget Asks
Provide funding for Wisconsin’s food banks to purchase additional Wisconsin food products, increasing access to fresh, nutritious food for Wisconsin families.
Food Bank Food Purchasing Program Take Action Now!
Wisconsin’s nearly $7.1 billion budget surplus this biennium puts members of the state’s Joint Finance Committee in a unique situation to leverage the robust resources of its agricultural, manufacturing, and retail industries to benefit people experiencing food insecurity via donations, food purchasing, and disaster relief.
Feeding Wisconsin is asking for a $20 million investment in this budget to connect our network of food banks and pantries with Wisconsin producers to provide food to families experiencing food insecurity. A state-funded food bank purchasing program would increase the capacity of food banks and pantries to procure, store, and distribute nutrient-dense locally-grown food to low-income Wisconsinites who need it. Additionally, access to nutrient-dense food can reduce healthcare costs associated with food insecurity.
CLICK TO EXPAND
In the 2023-2025 State Budget session, our six member food banks are respectfully requesting a GPR appropriation and investment of $20 million over the biennium for a Food Bank Food Purchasing program that would purchase local Wisconsin commodities from Wisconsin agricultural producers for Feeding Wisconsin’s network of food banks and pantries.
This food bank purchasing program would support both Wisconsin agricultural producers as well as increase the capacity of food banks and pantries to procure, store, and distribute nutrient-dense, locally-grown and produced food to low-income Wisconsinites who need it. This program would also allow for flexibility and local decision-making over the types of food needed by local communities and in the local operation of food distribution organizations (allowing for choice shopping models as well as pre-boxed foods).
Feeding Wisconsin’s network delivers food to where it is most needed. In the execution of the 2020 and 2022 Food Security Initiative - which was temporarily funded with CARES Act and ARPA dollars - the increased purchasing power provided by the funding gave Feeding Wisconsin’s network food banks the ability to expand partnerships with commodity associations, producers, and processors who produce the great Wisconsin products. However, our regional food banks and pantries are currently experiencing a 30-45% increase in pantry visitors while food and transportation costs are up 10-30%. And this is all before an anticipated surge in visitors in 2023 due to the end of FoodShare Emergency Allotments after February 2023, when Wisconsin will lose around $77 million in FoodShare emergency allotments every month. We would like to find a long-term funding solution to support the ongoing producer-institutional purchaser relationships that are necessary to feed Wisconsinites experiencing hunger.
Ensure strong, accessible, and effective Federal and State Nutrition Programs
Healthy School Meals for All Take Action Now!
- Maintain a strong, accessible, and effective FoodShare Program, Wisconsin’s largest and most efficient program designed to end hunger
- Expand the use of federal and state funds for healthy food incentives to provide FoodShare households with discounts on fresh produce and other healthy food options
- Expand access to free school meals so all Wisconsin students facing food insecurity receive nutritious meals while at school
CLICK TO EXPAND
The pandemic exacerbated food insecurity in Wisconsin. We quickly learned that many of our friends and neighbors needed help putting food on their tables. Families lined up to pick up food at schools and food banks. School nutrition professionals worked creatively - in parking lots and local parks - because they understand how important healthy school meals are for our children. This year, all Wisconsin children are receiving free school meals at school.
School meals are the healthiest source of meals for American children, according to a study from Tufts University, and a body of evidence shows students who participate in school breakfast programs have improved attendance, behavior, and academic achievement, as well as decreased tardiness.
We provide busses, internet, and books. We know hungry students can’t learn. Children should be provided with the nutrition they need to thrive in school.
2023-2025 Legislative Session
Support policies and programs that improve the health and economic stability of Wisconsin families
Throughout the legislative session, Feeding Wisconsin monitors legislation and proposals that impact Wisconsin families facing food and financial insecurity.
We support policies and programs that promote financial security and household stability to help Wisconsinites build for a better future, such as increasing access to affordable housing, quality childcare for working families, and increasing access to healthcare and health insurance.