Federal cuts threaten local food programs - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Federal cuts threaten local food programs


WAUSAU (WAOW)-- Proposed federal budget cuts threaten to pull money from Food Share and reduced lunch programs.

Legislation passed last month by the House of Representatives calls for cuts to federal nutrition programs and state Food Share programs.

Those proposed cuts come at a time when more people than ever rely on those programs.  

In the last five years, the amount of people in Wisconsin applying for the Food Share program has almost doubled.

In just the last year Portage County has seen a 6.8%  increase in applicants.  Marathon is up 8%.  Lincoln County has had a 13% increase.

Marathon County Social Services leaders say people applying for the program are just trying to make ends meet. Some of them even have full-time jobs.

"By getting the food share benefits they can pay their rent or they can get the car that brings them to work, so things like that," said Jane Huebsch, Economic Support Supervisor. 

With the number of people relying on the program, Huebsch says any cut would be devastating.

"If there's a cut, that would be a drastic change, and what it would do is it would force those folks to rely more on food pantries that are in the area."

Marathon County leaders say one in every five people is eligible for the program.

For a link to the Food Share program,  click here.

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