Wisconsin students who are enrolled at least half time in an institution of higher learning and meet certain criteria can now participate in FoodShare and receive assistance to purchase groceries during the pandemic. The provision loosening federal restrictions on these students was included in the COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress and signed into law in December 2020. The duration of these provisions is determined by the length of the federal public health emergency.

“Many young adults have struggled to find or keep jobs during the pandemic, and that loss of income has made it harder to afford basic necessities like food,” said DHS Interim Secretary Karen Timberlake. “By providing these benefits, we will help eligible students avoid hunger so they can focus on finishing their educational programs. Their success enriches our state as a whole.”

For the purposes of the program, institutions of higher learning are defined as colleges and universities, or business, technical, trade, or vocational schools that normally require students to have a high school diploma or equivalent (GED). Besides being enrolled at least half time at one of these institutions, students must meet one of the following:

  • Be eligible to participate in state or federally financed work study during the regular school year (whether or not they are currently employed in a work study job).
  • Have an expected family contribution (EFC) of $0, which is calculated using information submitted on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current academic year. All students receiving the maximum amount of a Pell Grant have an EFC of $0.

Students interested in signing up for FoodShare should submit an application at Wisconsin’s ACCESS website, where they can also see if they are eligible for other support. To be successful, students will have to submit documents that prove their eligibility.

For up-to-date information about Wisconsin’s COVID-19 response, visit the DHS COVID-19 webpage. 

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