Friday, September 19, 2014

Join Community-wide SNAP Challenge October 6th - 10th

Food insecurity and hunger are real issues and they are issues that people are dealing with right here
in our community. Over the past ten years in Wood County, participation in Wisconsin’s FoodShare program has nearly tripled. In 2003, 6195 (3229 adults, 2966 children) individuals where receiving FoodShare benefits. Last year, 18,322 (11,307 adults, 7025 children) were enrolled in the program. Children, age 4 and under are the largest age grouping of individuals receiving FoodShare benefits, making up 13% of the recipients. Fifty percent of FoodShare recipients are age 23 and younger.

Another staggering statistic is children enrolled in the free and reduced meal program in Marshfield public schools. The percentage of students participating has more than doubled over the past decade going from 15% in 2003 to 34.5% in 2013. In 2012, one out of every five students from the Marshfield Middle and High Schools indicated that he or she had gone to bed hungry in the past 30 days because there was not enough food in the home.

In an attempt to bring awareness to the hunger issues facing many of our community members, Marshfield Area United Way is inviting the entire community to take the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Challenge. The SNAP Challenge gives participants a view of the struggle to obtain adequate food that is faced by millions of low-income Americans receiving FoodShare benefits. From October 6th through October 10th individuals participating in the SNAP Challenge will be allowed to spend $4 per day to eat. For a family of four, this would mean feeding all four family members three meals for the day on just $16. By living on the average food stamp benefit, Challenge participants will find themselves forced to make food shopping choices on a limited budget, and learn how difficult it is to avoid hunger, afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy without adequate resources.

To join the community SNAP Challenge and receive a Challenge toolkit that explains your role as a participant, please contact Marshfield Area United Way at 715-384-9992 or More information about the SNAP Challenge is also available at

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