GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Tossed State of Health Emergency means cut in Federal Funds for food assistance

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GREEN BAY, Wis.(WFRV)- The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision to toss the Statewide Health Emergency declared by Governor Tony Evers, essentially halts Federal Funding that has been allocated for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. Individuals and families that are receiving maximum SNAP benefits at $234.00 a month will see a reduction to just $16.00 a month beginning May 1st.

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Speaking on the high courts decision, Republican State Representative Joe Sanfelippo said the decision was about constitutional law and the Governor overstepping the boundaries. “I think it’s a victory for the citizens of Wisconsin because up until this point we had the Governor who thought he was above the law and didn’t have to follow our constitutional system of Government,” said Sanfelippo. An important part of the emergency health declaration allowed for Federal funding to statewide food assistance programs. Without the declaration, the funds go away quickly.

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“What happened last week was really a one-two punch for people who are struggling with hunger here in Wisconsin,” said Maureen Fitzgerald VP of Government Relations for Feeding America East Wisconsin. Fitzgerald says that funds for Feeding America will remain untouched and there will always be food available. What’s gone though is the ability for individuals or families to go to their neighborhood store and select the items they like or want. “We will always have our preselected box options,” said Fitzgerald.

Wisconsin Senator Robert Cowles told Local 5 that he is disappointed that the funding is cut. “I am hoping for a way for us to recoup that much needed money. We are still in this,” said Cowles. Cowles said that he is all for masking, and that is what his party had tried to repeal. “Unfortunately I don’t have an answer on what will happen next,” said Cowles.

The US Department of Agriculture announced that emergency food aid for those most in need due to the pandemic. This new program which is open who did not receive additional help last year, including people who are unemployed or homeless. However because the new program requires both a state and federal health emergency, the new program will not be able to assist anyone according to a press release.

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