Wisconsin Public Radio

Farm Bill Threatens Thousands of Children

Nonpartisan analysis: 11% of state's food stamp recipients would lose eligibility under federal farm bill.

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - May 3rd, 2018 06:22 pm
Canned Food

Canned Food

Thousands of children in Wisconsin would lose access to food stamps under the proposed federal farm bill, according to a memo released by the Wisconsin Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office.

The GOP-backed bill has passed a House committee and is expected to come up for a vote in Washington later this month.

Under the proposal, Wisconsin and a number of other states would be barred from offering automatic food stamp benefits to families that are eligible for other support programs, including cash assistance and initiatives funded by the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.

According to the memo from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state Department of Health Services estimated in 2017 that if those standards were applied, about 11 percent of Wisconsin food stamp recipients, or roughly 76,000 people, would lose eligibility for the program. About 23,000 of those would be children.

“When parents have to worry about who is going to eat tonight, when parents have to decide to serve smaller meals or skip meals themselves in the Dairy State we have a significant problem,” said Sherrie Tussler, executive director of the Hunger Task Force, a statewide advocacy group, at a Capitol press conference Tuesday.

DHS also noted in 2017 that children who lose food stamp benefits would also likely lose free and reduced lunch eligibility at school because many schools link eligibility for the two programs.

Democrats decried the potential change as one that would hurt kids’ performance in school.

“You can’t concentrate when your belly is grumbling,” said state Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse. “You can’t concentrate and do well when you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from.”

Shilling said Wisconsin lawmakers would have to take action to supplement food assistance programs if the federal proposal is approved by Congress and signed into law.

Food stamps are paid for by the federal government. Administrative costs are split roughly in half between the federal government and the state.

During the past legislative session, state lawmakers passed a number of measures aimed at reducing fraud and increasing accountability in public benefit programs, including food stamps.

The new laws increase work requirements for food stamp recipients and set new limits on the value of personal assets, including cars. Some of the measures require federal waivers before they can take effect.

Listen to the discussion here.

Memo: Proposed Farm Bill Would Push Thousands Of Wisconsin Children Off Food Stamps was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

8 thoughts on “Farm Bill Threatens Thousands of Children”

  1. Jacob Pickard says:

    Starving children another conservative republican principle.

  2. Troll says:

    6 In 10 Able-Bodied Food Stamp Recipients Do Not Work At All. That Has To Change


    Jacob you confuse your history. Russia’s Stalin, in the 1930’s and Mao of China 1970’s their government plans -10 million die of starvation. Your leftist heroes.

  3. Mary Kay Wagner says:

    Again Troll, your lame reference to Stalin and Mao has no relevance to this article. This article focuses on the impact this bill has on children. This bill will have insignificant impact on the federal deficit. If Congressional Republicans would address the enormous corporate welfare as well as the gross entitlements given the wealth.
    One final comment, while you may make obscene connections between liberals in this country and autocratic governments in Russia and China; I will refrain from connecting your conservative views with the likes of Hitler and Mussolini.

  4. Troll says:

    Mary, the left always holds children for ransom. If you cut any part of the farm bill you are automatically killing children. Look at MPS. If the left gave a hoot about children. You would demand results when paying $15,000 dollars a student. How do you think a student pays attention when the neighboring student is wearing a leg monitor due to criminal conduct. I bring up Stalin in a previous post, because hundreds of thousands of children starved in 1930’s Poland simply because the Socialist were jealous of capitalist peasants making money off of selling wheat. The Socialists raped the children of capitalists, murdered them and or sent them to the Gulags. Stalin did not realize by killing and or murdering the capitalists peasants that the result was a shortage of wheat. This lead to a million Poles starving to death through the decade of 1930.

  5. Crazy Chester says:

    Checkmate, Mary. Though admittedly, defeating Troll is not exactly hard. Babbling incoherency is not much of a strategy.

  6. MKE Kid says:

    Chester: Shhhhh. Leave Troll alone. Next, he might regale us with posts from Breitbart News.

  7. Troll says:

    I am confused with the new left, would you rather hand out welfare or seize it from the capitalists. It is not creating an environment where citizens can find employment. Are you feel good hippies or Antifa ?

  8. Crazy Chester says:

    Of course you’re confused. The world is a frightening, confusing place for you, which is why you calling to demagogic politicians. It’s just who you are.

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