Series: Food Security And Assistance In Wisconsin

About one in nine Wisconsin households faces food insecurity — a lack of reliable access to safe, affordable and culturally relevant food that supports an active, healthy lifestyle. Those who have trouble keeping their refrigerators and pantries stocked include people who are unemployed and others who are working but aren’t able to find enough hours or wages, as well as many who are children and senior citizens. A variety of safety nets — from public-assistance programs to non-profit and religious food banks — struggle to keep up with demand. Fluctuations in the broader economy add uncertainties for the needy, as do changing state and federal aid policies. At the same time, innovative projects seek to improve food security, including efforts to directly connect hungry Wisconsinites with fresh food through growers and farmers' markets.
 
Community groups often host food drives at various points during the year to fill local pantry shelves. Donors can enhance the value of their gifts by ensuring the food is safe, nutritious and of high quality.
People who worry about not having enough to eat cope in different ways. Some borrow money, neglect health care or defer paying bills. Many choose foods of poor nutritional value because they cost less but are filling.
Many people are looking forward to a big Thanksgiving dinner with family and friends. Meanwhile, Wisconsin food banks have been trying to bring a feast to those who are less fortunate this holiday season.
Wisconsin is one of 31 states and three United States territories where obesity among children living in poor families decreased, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Milwaukee County will soon be home to the largest urban organic fruit orchard in the United States.
Locally grown produce is fresh. It tastes better and is more nutritious than food grown far away.
It's the time of year to celebrate the luscious flavors of Wisconsin summers — cherry tomatoes, sweet corn, zucchini and more. Farmers' markets are a great place to obtain affordable, seasonal and healthy produce, but not all Wisconsinites have the ability to purchase these fresh foods.
Dane County Sweet Potato Project
Dane County has rich farmland, dedicated farmers and gardeners, and some of the best homegrown food in the country. But not everybody is able to enjoy the region's bounty.
Sherrie Tussler
Wisconsin wasn't testing the limits of its relationship with the USDA in April 2015, which is when it began statewide implementation of a rule requiring "able-bodied adults without dependents" on SNAP to either spend at least 20 hours a week working (or volunteering or undergoing training), or otherwise lose their benefits after three months.
Milwaukee-based Hunger Task Force Director Sherri Tussler said 65 percent of people who participated in the FoodShare Employment and Training Program lost their food assistance and did not gain employment.