Ann-Elise Henzl

For the last few months, Wisconsin residents who get food stamps have had to meet a work requirement. 

It’s one of a number of changes lawmakers have approved, or are considering, for the FoodShare program.

Supporters say the changes are about helping people become self-sufficient. Advocates for the poor believe the changes are about making benefits harder to obtain.

In April, the state began requiring some form of work in exchange for FoodShare benefits.

Gov. Scott Walker’s administration also wants to drug test participants, although the USDA says blanket screenings are illegal.

Each month the work mandate kicks in for thousands more FoodShare recipients, when it’s time for their annual benefits renewal.

State Medicaid Director Kevin Moore says there are a couple ways people can satisfy the work requirement.


A major change to Wisconsin’s FoodShare program took effect this week. Starting April 1, able-bodied adults with no dependent children must work at least 20 hours a week or enroll in a job training program. If not, they’ll lose food stamp benefits.

We visited a public assistance center on Milwaukee’s near north side to talk to people about the new rule. Marie Peete says she has no problem with Wisconsin’s new rule.

LaToya Dennis

On April 1, Wisconsin will enact changes that impact some FoodShare recipients.

New Wisconsin Law Requires Work for Food Stamps

Jul 1, 2014

Thousands of Wisconsin residents, who get what many call food stamps, will now have to work if they want to keep the benefit.

The state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau has released a report on the possible impact of Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to require food stamp recipients to work.