Contact: Rep. Jonathan Brostoff, 608-266-0650

House Farm Bill takes away food access for children statewide

MADISON – Under the House Farm Bill, Wisconsin stands to lose $23.8 million in annual funding for need-based food assistance programs, effectively ending benefits for 23,369 children across the state. Today, a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo was released highlighting this impact.  In response, Representative Jonathan Brostoff (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement:

“Why are Republicans in Wisconsin and Washington D.C. so determined to fund corporate welfare and tax cuts to the wealthy while repeatedly slashing the programs that ensure our communities thrive?” Rep. Brostoff asked. “There is no conscionable explanation for bills like these. It’s inexcusable to fund people and companies that can more than fund themselves while allowing children to go hungry. The values of the Republican legislators are backwards and their actions are cruel.”

A memo released today from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau shows that the 2018 House Farm Bill (H.R. 2) would prevent states from offering broad-based categorical eligibility to families that do not receive cash assistance or ongoing TANF-funded services. It is estimated that this change will result in eight percent of enrolled children losing eligibility for FoodShare and free and reduced price lunch at school.

“No one should have to worry about food insecurity, especially in a country as wealthy as ours. This change will hurt families in both rural and urban communities across our state,” said Rep. Brostoff.

Across the United States, food assistance recipients are predominately children, elderly, or disabled people — 76 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with children.

“Instead of helping hardworking Wisconsin families get ahead, Republicans legislators are trying to make it harder for them to provide food for their children. Too many families live paycheck-to-paycheck while large Republican donors are handed tax breaks,” Rep. Brostoff concluded.

An interactive map of Wisconsin with county-based eligibility numbers is available here.


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