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SNAP benefits at stake if Wisconsin lawmakers end mask mandate

Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 12:44 AM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Feeding Hunger of Wisconsin officials drafted a letter to lawmakers urging them to vote against terminating the emergency order.

Stephanie Dorfman, Feeding Wisconsin executive director, highlighted Supplemental Nutrition Assistance benefits (SNAP) are keeping food on the table for thousands.

“These are federal funds that are meant to go to folks in need during this pandemic to help them get through this challenging time,” Dorfman said.

The hunger pandemic was worsened by the covid pandemic. Dorfman sees the growing need first-hand.

“Our food banks across the state have seen an increase in need. We’re serving about 60 percent more households,” she said. “We are distributing 40 percent more food than we’ve ever distributed before, but unfortunately with any cuts to SNAP, we know that that has a great impact on the families experiencing hunger.”

Under the current public health order, some individuals can receive a maximum of $204 per month. Without the order, the benefit can drop to $16 per month.

Dorfman explained food banks are stretched and food prices are increasing because of COVID and families can’t afford to take a cut in benefits.

She said the impact of SNAP benefits has a trickle down effect.

“During this challenging time, it’s also boosting our economy by getting those benefits out to retailers and farmer markets,” she said.

Millions of dollars are on the line, Dorfman said less funding means more families struggle to feed their loved ones.

“Right now what we can only hope for is that the legislature reconsiders this bill and considers all the ramifications,” she said. “All the impacts that it may have on those experiencing hunger and those struggling through this pandemic to the economic crisis that has resulted.”

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