What's new with FoodShare?
Federal Government Shutdown Update
As a result of the federal government shutdown, many FoodShare members received February benefits early on January 20, 2019. Members who received an early issuance of February benefits will not receive an additional issuance during February, but QUEST cards will continue to work in February. Please budget and plan accordingly.
March FoodShare benefits will be issued on March 1. Any letters you may have received about your benefits, dated between January 19, 2019 and February 4, 2019, will indicate that your household will receive a $0 March FoodShare benefit due to the federal government shutdown. That is not correct. You will receive March benefits and, after February 9, 2019, get a new letter indicating the correct benefit amount.
Note: There is a false message on social media telling members they must use their FoodShare benefits immediately. This is not true.
Programs like BadgerCare Plus, Medicaid, SeniorCare, Wisconsin Works (W-2), and Wisconsin Shares Child Care Subsidy were not impacted by the shutdown. Other programs including WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), and the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) remain available, despite the federal government shutdown.
Work requirement Policy Update
Generally, Able Bodied Adults without Dependents (ABAWDs; ex: people without children) between 18 and 49 who do not have any dependent children can get FoodShare benefits only for 3 months in a 3-year period if they do not work or participate in an employment and training program. This requirement has been waived in Wisconsin since 2002 due to high unemployment, but has gone back into effect as of April 1, 2015.
For more information for service providers or clients please see our ABAWD Fact Sheet
Farm Bill changes to "Heat and Eat:"
Wisconsin is one of many states that provided a standard heating utility allowance to all FoodShare applicants and members so they receive the full heating standard utility credit, often referred to as the “Heat and Eat” policy. The Farm Bill passed by Congress in 2013 made changes to that policy. FoodShare households that have received a Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) payment in the last 12 months at their current residence and FoodShare households that have reported they pay a heat expense should see no change to their FoodShare benefits. Households who are not directly responsible for their heating bill could see a decrease in benefits. This is effective as of April 28, 2014.
Learn more about changes to Heat and Eat →
"Heat and Eat" and subsidized housing:
Have your FoodShare benefits been cut since April 2014? Do you live in subsidized housing? Due to an update in FoodShare policy, recipients living in subsidized housing may have had their benefits incorrectly calculated. You may be eligible to have your FoodShare benefit amount restored AND backdated to when your cut took effect. Learn how to restore your benefits →