Help is available for families in the Chippewa Valley that relied on the extra FoodShare benefits

Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 5:46 PM CST
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - A COVID era program has ended at the end of February, ending the extra FoodShare benefits for Wisconsinites.

“We will probably see, I’m assuming, a decline in EBT use because people have less money to spend,” said Becca Schoenborn with the Menomonie Food Market Co-Op.

She said there is a program to help those who use FoodShare.

“We have a program at the co-op called “Double Dollars.” Which is a food incentive program. Every Tuesday, anybody that shops and buys fruits and vegetables with their FoodShare card we will match up to $10 in the form of a voucher,” said Schoenborn.

The program is funded by the kindness of customers who round up on their purchases. Schoenborn said it also helps with access to fresh produce, which mostly comes from Wisconsin farmers.

“We know that fruits and veggies are the hardest things to come by at food pantries. And they’re often the sacrifice people have to make,” said Schoenborn.

Speaking of food pantries, Feed My People in Eau Claire County does its best to keep community members in the Chippewa Valley fed.

“We want to make sure we have enough food at out warehouse so that folks who come to get food get what they need,” said Suzanna Becker, who is the executive director for Feed My People.

She said the pantry runs on the cooperation of the community and other food pantries.

“We are also working closely with out food pantry partners. Having conversations with them to see how best we can support them so they also have the food they need also,” said Becker.

With the extra benefits gone, getting food for some may still be difficult.

“We are still in a time of high inflation, high grocery prices. There are families that are barely making it. We want to get the word out that help is there for them, and that it’s okay for then to come get the food they need,” said Becker.

To find the nearest Feed My People location near you, click here.

To volunteer and help out the Feed My People food pantry, click here.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the extra FoodShare benefits helped almost 400,000 households across the state who struggled to buy food in recent months.