SNAP Helps Children in Struggling Families Get Enough to Eat
SNAP benefits, also known as food stamps, help put food on the table for nearly half a million Wisconsin children in families with low incomes. Efforts to restrict access to SNAP, such as the changes Governor Walker has proposed, could harm children by making it harder for families to make ends meet.
SNAP provides a modest but important boost to many Wisconsin families with children. In 2013, 452,000 children across Wisconsin benefitted from SNAP – about 1 out of every 3 children in the state. In four counties – Milwaukee, Sawyer, Adams, and Burnett – more than half the children benefitted from SNAP at some point during the year.
Governor Walker has said that he wants to make it harder to receive SNAP benefits, by requiring people to pass a drug test before they can receive assistance. We don’t have the details yet on what Governor Walker is proposing, but we do know that his plan would likely be cost inefficient and conflict with federal requirements that bar wide-spread drug testing for SNAP recipients.
Governor Walker’s plan could also harm Wisconsin children. If parents have to jump through additional hoops to get help buying food for their families, fewer children will get the assistance they need.
SNAP helps hundreds of thousands of children in Wisconsin get enough to eat. By making it more difficult to receive SNAP benefits, policymakers may make it harder for families with children to make ends meet. We should be trying to improve economic security for Wisconsin children and families, not undermine it.