A looming deadline: Folks waiting for proof of power outage from We Energies for food stamp benefits

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Emergency food stamp benefits are available to folks who were affected by power outages after storms pushed through on June 30th -- but there's now an additional step folks must take to qualify. People must contact We Energies to request proof they were indeed affected by a power outage -- and there's a looming deadline to apply.

Bobbi Jordan depends on FoodShare benefits to help feed herself and her seven-year-old granddaughter.

"I'm fixing to comb her hair. I can't french braid that good," Jordan said.

If only the process of receiving emergency food assistance was as enjoyable as untangling her granddaughter's hair.

"That's all I can do --  give it time and patience," Jordan said.

On June 30th, storms rolled across the state -- creating widespread power outages.

Some lost electricity for days -- and lost their food in the process. Jordan was one of them.

"This block didn't have lights," Jordan said.

Jordan and thousands of others could get emergency food stamps as a result of the storms -- if they contact We Energies to receive proof they were a victim of a power outage.

That proof comes through email, fax or a letter sent via snail mail from We Energies.

Jordan hasn't received that letter yet.

"They said they were going to send a letter, but we haven't gotten it yet," Jordan said.

"We're telling customers to expect to receive the information within a week," Cathy Schulze with We Energies said.

Schulze says the company is filling requests the same day -- but mailing them out is taking more time because there was no delivery during the July 4th holiday.

"We've provided about 1,700 letters to people," Schulze said.

Jordan has learned she won't have to wait too much longer for her letter.

"I got a call today and she said it'll be in the mail (Wednesday) morning," Jordan said.

There is a looming deadline.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services says Milwaukee County residents must call Milwaukee Enrollment Services by the end of the day Thursday, July 10th to declare their food loss.

Those applying for the emergency food benefits will have an additional 10 days from the time they call to present all of the proper paperwork required.

It's just another twist in the process for those looking for support after the storms.

"We really need it," Jordan said.

If you're interested in these emergency food stamp benefits -- call Milwaukee Enrollment Services at 1-888-947-6583 by the end of the day Thursday, July 10th.