“Attack on the poor?” Some worry what will happen when FoodShare changes take effect April 1st

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MADISON (WITI) -- Starting Wednesday, April 1st -- major changes to Wisconsin's FoodShare program, and those changes aren't without controversy. The food stamp program will now involve work requirements for able-bodied adults who do not have children -- but some are calling it a "pink slip" for the poor.

State officials say making these changes will push people back into the workforce, but officials with programs that help those in need expect the opposite.

The Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee helps the hungry -- distributing more than 10 million pounds of food each year to area food pantries, but big changes to Wisconsin's FoodShare program have Hunger Task Force Director Sherrie Tussler concerned the Hunger Task Force may soon be overwhelmed.

"It is an attack on the poor. There just won't be enough food," Tussler said.

Starting April 1st, FoodShare recipients ages 18 to 49 (who do not have any minor children) will be required to work for their benefits.

The work requirement rules will affect members who have a renewal or apply for FoodShare benefits on and after April 1st, 2015.

If you are an adult age 18 through 49, there are four ways you can meet your work requirement:

  1. Work at least 80 hours each month.
  2. Take part in an allowable work program such as FSET, Wisconsin Works (W-2) or certain programs under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) at least 80 hours each month.
  3. Both work and take part in an allowable work program for a combined total of at least 80 hours each month.
  4. Take part in and meet the requirements of a workfare program.

Those who choose not to meet the work requirement will only get three months of FoodShare benefits in a 36-month (three-year) period until they meet the work requirement, become exempt, or the 36-month period has passed.

Able-bodied adults will be enrolled in FSET when their case comes up for annual review and will then be eligible to receive FoodShare for 90 days in any 36-month period. The 90 days do not need to be consecutive, but once reached, a FoodShare recipient’s case is automatically closed.

"It`s really designed to get people into work training to help them move back into the workforce," Wisconsin Medicaid Director Kevin Moore said.

State officials say this will reduce dependency on government assistance.

"The ultimate goal here is to get people into the workforce, getting them good paying jobs, so they can help support their families outside of government support," Moore said.

Tussler says these changes will have the opposite effect. She's worried stricter FoodShare requirements will force people off the program and into food pantries.

"We are telling people they will work or they will go hungry and those are their two choices," Tussler said.

Tussler has been working to make folks aware of the changes coming April 1st so the final outcome isn't devastating.

"We`ve effectively given a pink slip to the poor," Tussler said.

Some may be exempt from the work requirement rules, including people with health problems, women who may be pregnant and people caring for children.

11 comments

  • NH

    Again….this will be deleted. Is ID required for food stamps? If so, why is there an issue for voter ID? Watch…poof, this will be gone.

  • Sheri

    Plus I have a disabled husband and 2 disabled sons and am still getting denied for food stamps. Shouldn’t I be able to get some kind of help?

  • Ubiquitous King

    The businesses involved in offering placement to W2 workers are crooks. They provide jobs for these people as long as taxpayers fit the bill for their monthly compensation. When those same workers attempt to apply directly to the business, they are told that there are no part-time or full-time positions available. As a former placement specialist for these workers I witnessed first hand the scam that is being orchestrated. This isn’t getting people prepped for the workforce it is allowing businesses to get cheap labor at the expense of the taxpayers, and they’ve convinced the large population of dummies to support it.

    • St. Lepus

      Not exactly sure whom you refer to when you stated ” and they’ve convinced the large population of dummies to support it”, but I can assure you, U. King, that this is by design and not just a fluke. People vote against their own best interests all of the time and never bother to look closely at what the payoff to the politicians are. There is seldom a case where the money doesn’t go back into the pockets of those that propose this sort of legislation.

  • ltdarkstar

    Yup, if you don’t fall within Fox6’s libturd posting guidelines your posts will be deleted. They only want to hear “supporting” views, not ones that oppose their viewpoints (ie. posts that make sense).

  • Janet Bartels

    Get a job, go to work , get off drugs, smoking , alcohol, take birth control and stop being a hindrance to society. People….. do something with your lives stop being a wimpy leach and a beggar. I have worked since I was 14 and didn’t waste my life asking for handouts. I have worked 2 jobs just to keep above water, and yes it was hard. Nobody ever gave me a handout or a helping hand, not even my parents. Get a life!

  • sheryleta yarbrough

    Don’t you realize it’s not that simple. Poor people don’t choose to be poor. It’s usually a barrier to them becoming gainfully employed. Are you going to erase their criminal backgrounds or buy them a car to get to and from work or erase their mental illnesses that they may not even know they have. Rich people; how come you don’t understand, no matter how you see it we all may have been born with opportunities in America but some has been failed not everyone was taught how to knock on opportunities door.

  • Monica Ml

    If he raise minimum wage people can survive! U have to b a great candidate, with a hole lot of other exceptions to get a good paying job! Makin 7-8 dollars an hour part time is no money! And full time, u jst barley gettin by. So raise minimum wage before u jst start kicking people off of food stamps!!

  • Monica Ml

    Scott walker luvs his state so much, but wht is he doing for the people?! Takin everything away, and not bringing nthin in!! You wnt the people off of food stamps and welfare?! Raise minimum wage, create more jobs for the people who’s not so educated like him self.(walker)

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