FoodShare Helps Students Focus on School
As Wisconsin students head back to school this fall, we want to make sure they start each day ready to learn. Parents want the best for their kids, but sometimes they have to make tough choices between paying the bills and buying food. We’ve all experienced how hard it is to stay focused at work when we’re hungry. Kids who are hungry have a harder time concentrating at school, too. Studies have even found that kids who are poorly nourished have lower graduation rates and higher long-term health care costs than well-nourished kids. FoodShare works alongside school nutrition programs and community organizations to help more than 330,000 Wisconsin kids stay fueled and focused on their education.
Wisconsin schools serve children from diverse backgrounds, including some whose parents do not meet the FoodShare citizenship or residency requirement. Children under the age of 18 who are in the U.S. legally are eligible to enroll in FoodShare, even if their parents are not. All children enrolled in FoodShare also qualify for free school lunch through the National School Lunch program. These provisions help ensure that all kids in Wisconsin have the energy they need to succeed.
Getting a college degree can be a big step towards a successful career, but school expenses can add up quickly. FoodShare can also help eligible college students pay for food while they work on their degrees. Students (age 18-49) who are enrolled less than half-time must meet standard income eligibility guidelines. Students who are enrolled at least half-time may be eligible if they meet standard income eligibility guidelines and at least one of the following criteria:
- Enrolled in a technical school that will result in obtaining a certificate or diploma in 2 years or less and is obtaining a certificate or diploma that will lead to employment that is in demand (not a liberal arts transfer program)
- Employed and/or self-employed at least 20 hours a week and is earning at least the federal minimum wage for 20 hours a week
- Participating in a state or federal work study program
- Caring for a child under age 6 or does not have adequate child care for a child under age 12
- Is a single parent enrolled on a full-time basis and is caring for a child under age 12
- Enrolled in a W-2 employment position, receiving a Tribal TANF cash payment or W-2 cash payment, or working in a W-2 Trial Job
- Participating in an on-the-job training program
- Physically or mentally unfit for gainful employment
- Is assigned to or placed in an institution of higher education through or in compliance with the requirements of FSET
- Note: a child under age 22 who is living with his/her parent(s) must include the parent(s) on the application, even if they do not share meals
Having three square meals a day helps students stay on a path to academic success. If you know a family or student who has hit hard times and needs help putting food on the table, have them call the FoodShare Helpline at 1-877-366-3635 or submit their information in the Contact Us form on this website.