MADISON (WITI) -- Major changes coming soon to Wisconsin's FoodShare program.
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:
- Work at least 80 hours each month.
- 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.
- Both work and take part in an allowable work program for a combined total of at least 80 hours each month.
- 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.
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Opponents say cutting off benfits will increase visits to local food pantries and soup kitchens. Some are worried those resources will run dry.
"In April of 2016, we anticipate that our network of charities will begin to experience food shortage," Hunger Task Force Executive Director Sherrie Tussler said.
According to the Hunger Task Force, at least 66,000 people in Wisconsin will be affected by the changes.