La Crosse food pantry against restricting FoodShare to healthier foods

A set of bills in Wisconsin are trying to restrict food stamps to healthier foods.

A Wisconsin Assembly committee hosted a public hearing on the proposed legislation Tuesday.

One of the bills provides discounts on fresh produce and other healthy foods for Wisconsin resident on FoodShare. The other would restrict what kinds of foods can be bought with food stamps.

One local food pantry worries restricting FoodShare use could affect the dignity of those in need.

“I see the stigma of this population just not getting any better. I mean we are trying to give people a hand-up, we’re trying to get FoodShare to be a supplement to their food budget so that eventually they will not need these programs anymore, but we’re going to stomp on them while we’re doing that. I think it’s just the wrong idea,” said Hunger Task Force Executive Director Shelly Fortner.

As of August, more than 670,000 Wisconsin residents are taking part in the FoodShare program.