Wisconsin FoodShare Recipients Benefit from Temporary Increase, Additional Online Shopping Option
FROM THE WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
Wisconsin households that receive FoodShare will now receive added benefits to help them access food during the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary increase will begin this month and last until June 2021. It was part of the federal COVID-19 stimulus package signed into law in December 2020. FoodShare households will be able to use these benefits for in-person and online purchasing.
“More than 725,000 Wisconsinites are relying on FoodShare to help them feed themselves and their loved ones during this pandemic,” said DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm. “These increases are the kind of critical support we need to be offering to our hardest hit neighbors in Wisconsin right now.”
FoodShare recipients are being notified of this change via notification letters, as well as emails for those members who have shared this information with DHS. Information about the increase is also available on the DHS website. Recipients do not need to do anything to receive the increase. It will be added to their Quest cards automatically.
The increase is separate from the emergency allotments that DHS has been able to provide FoodShare households because of the state’s public health emergency declaration. The emergency allotments provide FoodShare households the maximum amount for their family size. The maximum amounts have temporarily increased by 15% so households will receive benefits up to those amounts while Wisconsin’s public health emergency is still in effect.
DHS also announced today that the grocery store chain, ALDI, is joining Amazon and Walmart as online shopping options for Foodshare households.
Wisconsin is one of 29 states that the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved to pilot online shopping using FoodShare benefits. Beginning in late November, FNS added ALDI stores to the list of grocery locations where households using FoodShare can shop online. Amazon and Walmart are the other stores. Costs associated with non-eligible items, fees, or delivery are the responsibility of the member.
“Enabling online ordering is an easy way to help people physically distance while doing their food shopping,” said Jim Jones, State Medicaid Director, whose division in DHS administers the FoodShare program. “The more options available, the better able families are to make choices that work for them and keep them safe and healthy.”
Wisconsin supports the efforts of state grocery chains to be added to the program, but none have been approved at this time. More information about this opportunity is available on the FNS website.