University of Wisconsin-Extension

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.
 
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.
Kevin Moore of Wisconsin Department of Health Services said 12,000 people enrolled in the FoodShare program entered the workforce as part of its employment and training program.
Katharine Broton
A new food pantry for University of Wisconsin-Madison students is one sign that poverty can exist on campus. As UW-Madison Ph.D. student Katharine Broton explained in a Feb. 5 interview on Wisconsin Public Television's Here And Now , traditional conceptions of college students' financial and social situations has grown outdated.
A rising number of "non-traditional" students and their struggle to pay for college-related expenses led the Associated Students of Madison to set up a food pantry. University of Wisconsin-Madison Ph.D. student Katharine Broton discussed research into food insecurity among college students.