What is FoodShare?
FoodShare is a program available to Wisconsin residents that is very similar to the federal FoodSnap program. It provides those eligible with financial assistance in acquiring healthy foods to sustain them and their family. For whatever reason you or your family is in a low income bracket, you can use FoodShare as a sort of safety-net.
How do I know if I'm eligible for FoodShare?
Eligibility for the program is primarily based on income, relative to the Federal Poverty Level. Your income in relation to this value will determine the amount in dollars that you receive for your aid benefits. More information on which bracket you may fall into is available here.
In addition to basic income information, felony status can also affect eligibility. Those convicted of a drug felony are not eligible for FoodShare benefits.
How can I use the benefits from the FoodShare program?
Your FoodShare benefits will be put into your FoodShare account using an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) system. Once your benefits are in your account, you can use your Wisconsin QUEST card to buy food at grocery stores and at some farmers markets that accept EBT payments. To pay for your food, swipe your QUEST card at the swipe card terminal in the checkout line, and enter your personal identification number (PIN).
Members of the FoodShare program can use this card at (according to a service representative and their informational website) nearly every grocery store in Wisconsin, including many convenience stores (for example, Kwik Trip).
There are some restrictions on what items you can purchase with the card:
The card can only be used to purchase food items. This means that things like paper plates, eating utensils, and hygiene products cannot be purchased with the benefits. You cannot use the card to purchase liquor, tobacco, or vitamins. After you tell the cashier that you are using your QUEST card, they may separate your purchases into two transactions at the register (one with the food items, one with any remaining items). Finally, items sold through the in-store hot deli cannot be purchased with your QUEST card.
How can I apply for the FoodShare program?
Navigate here, and click on the "Apply for Benefits!" link. To find out if you're eligible for the program at all, you should instead click the "Am I Eligible?" link. You will be provided with a short survey that will contain basic questions about your income and family status, and will finish with an estimation of your eligibility status for FoodShare.
Website navigation and customer service:
The website is pretty straight forward to use. There is one main link on the site that takes you to a form that asks you to fill out in order to see if you are eligable or not for foodstamps or other types of government assistance such as, Badgercare, medicare, child care, or w-2. The form was easy to follow and asks basic questions about income rates, tax returns, and some information on yourself. Once the form was filled out fully (which takes about 5 minutes or less) it then informs you if you are eligable to then apply to these government programs that is a whole separate part to fill out. This form was simply to figure out if you can even be provided with federal programs. Other than this form the website doesn't offer much more information.
Here is the number to contact: 888-283-0012