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Advocates For Poor Decry Work Training Requirement For Some Food Benefit Recipients

New Requirement Begins Phasing Into Effect April 1


Advocates for the poor say the state is getting ready to force tens of thousands of people to work in order to qualify for food benefits.

FoodShare recipients aged 19 to 49 who don’t have dependent children will have to enroll in a state-backed employment training program, starting April 1 on a phased-in basis. People who don’t enroll risk being limited to three months of food share over a three-year period.

Sherrie Tussler of the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee fears the change will make thousands of people turn to food pantries or engage in roadside begging.

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“What kind of town do we live in that turn grown men into beggars? What kind of state do we live in that intentionally creates beggars?” said Tussler.

The state Department of Health Services says Gov. Scott Walker is committed to helping Wisconsin residents move from dependence on government programs to the independence and dignity that comes with working hard and building a prosperous future of their own choosing.