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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 serving 23,369 children across the state. The proposed bill would disproportionately impact Wisconsin children living in rural areas. Today, Representative Lisa Subeck (D-Madison) and Senator Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse) released a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo highlighting the impact this plan will have on Wisconsin children.

“Children throughout Wisconsin will go hungry as a direct result of proposed Republican legislation in the House,” Rep. Lisa Subeck stated. “The values of the Republican Party are completely upside down. Taking food from low-income children while doling out massive tax breaks to millionaires seems almost too cruel to be true – but this is Donald Trump’s America.”

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 8 percent of currently enrolled children losing eligibility for FoodShare and for free and reduced price lunch at school.

“Food insecurity is a serious issue across Wisconsin, impacting families in both rural and urban communities,” said Rep. Subeck “Wisconsin families are working hard every day but continue living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet. Instead of helping these hardworking families get ahead, Republicans are changing the rules, making it even harder for them to provide food for their children.”

Nationwide, food stamp recipients are predominately children, elderly, or disabled people — 76 percent of SNAP benefits go to households with children.

“Republicans in Washington D.C. and here in Wisconsin have made it crystal clear that they will continue putting tax breaks for their corporate donors ahead of the needs of Wisconsin children and families,” Rep. Subeck concluded.

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

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