Over the past several weeks, the world has changed tremendously. With the onset of COVID-19, many saw children returning from school, job losses, social distancing orders put in place, and, in some of the worse cases, our lives personally touched by this virus. While we all seek to navigate these times of uncertainty, the load can become even more burdensome for food-insecure families. Many families that were making ends meet are now struggling to access essential resources. Below are the words of families that have reached out to our FoodShare Helpline for assistance throughout the pandemic:
- I have recently only been allowed to work 48 hours a pay period. I am a single mom of 2 kids.
- I'm no longer working, and due to, I'm high risk of the virus. I'm not getting any food stamps, and not any unemployment.
- Prior to the pandemic, I was making just enough to get by. Now my hours have been reduced, and I am not.
- My husband is the only income in our family. We have a 15-month-old and just need a little extra help with groceries.
- I recently got out of jail and was homeless for a time and getting back in my feet and hopefully will be working soon just need assistance until I can support myself during this epidemic. Thanks!
- This will help a lot during this time of unemployment.
- I struggle just to pay my bills every month, hard to keep food in the fridge at the same time.
- I am homeless and need some help. I have one more night. I'm a hotel and then my cat and I are on the street with no vehicle. I was living with a gentleman that turned crazy and violent, and he dumped me in the middle of nowhere and stole my phone. I am desperate.
- I'm in need of some food stamps I have not been working for the last seven weeks and have yet to receive any payments from Wisconsin unemployment. I'm not sure what's going on I was hoping I could receive some food stamps.
From Douglas to Kenosha and Door to Grant counties, the FoodShare Outreach team has been working to connect fellow Wisconsinites with benefits needed to navigate the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the families contacting our statewide Helpline have never sought out benefits before; however, due to the current circumstances have been grateful to have our team to help support them through the process. Massive job losses encountered in the retail, recreational, entertainment, and restaurant industries across the state have resulting in more families than ever needing a helping hand. Feeding Wisconsin, along with our six-member food banks, have been working diligently to meet these needs. Thankfully, through SNAP/FoodShare benefits, our food banks are able to deploy our team of FoodShare Outreach Specialists. More than ever, their roles at the food banks are essential to connecting our neighbors to much-needed resources.
Call 1-866-366-3635 today! FoodShare Specialists can:
- Educate about FoodShare benefits and policy changes
- Provide one-on-one FoodShare eligibility screenings and application assistance
- Assist with submitting proof documents
- Assist FoodShare members in maintaining benefits, including assistance with Six-Month Report Forms and Annual Renewals, reporting changes, reporting a QUEST card lost or stolen, etc.
Additionally, Wisconsin has applied for several waivers from the USDA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure Wisconsinites have access to FoodShare benefits. Learn more about Pandemic EBT, additional FoodShare benefits, and using the QUEST to buy food online.