COVID-19: Information for FoodShare and Other Food Benefits

On August 11, 2022, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced it's streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus. DHS is currently reviewing CDC updates and will update our guidance accordingly.

This page provides information about FoodShare and other food benefits during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Members who lost food in recent storms can apply for replacement benefits

FoodShare members who lost food due to recent severe weather from a power outage lasting four or more hours or because of other storm damage can request replacement benefits. Members can request replacement benefits by submitting a form. As part of the request, proof of a power outage or other cause of the lost food must be included. If members have trouble finding proof, they should contact the local agency that manages their Foodshare benefits. The agency may be able to help them with gathering information directly from power companies.

Forms must be submitted within 10 days of the date the food was lost. The completed form and any additional documents can be submitted:

  • Online at access.wi.gov
  • In person at their agency
  • By mail
  • By fax

Detailed directions are on the form.

 

Interviews are once again required for FoodShare applicants

If you are applying for or renewing your FoodShare benefits, you will need to do an interview with your agency. During your interview, your agency will review your case information to make sure they have everything they need from you and that your information is correct.

Some FoodShare members need to submit Six-Month Report forms again

FoodShare members once again need to complete and submit Six-Month Report forms to let us know that the information we have on file for their household is correct. When it is time for you to complete your Six-Month Report form, you will get either a paper report form in the mail or an email alerting you that you have a new message in your ACCESS account.


FoodShare members are getting additional FoodShare benefits in July

If you are enrolled in FoodShare, you are getting additional FoodShare benefits in July to help during the COVID-19 pandemic. All FoodShare members are getting at least $95 in additional benefits each month. Some households will get more to bring their benefit amount to the maximum monthly benefit amount for their household size. 

These additional FoodShare benefits will be on your QUEST card on July 16. You will be sent a letter the week of July 18 telling you that you about the additional benefits you received.

We are also checking that everyone who should have received additional benefits got them. As a result, some members may have gotten their May benefits on their cards on July 3.

You can check the balance on your QUEST card at any time through the ebtEDGE website or ebtEDGE mobile app or by calling QUEST Card Service at 877-415-5164.

Note:  Emergency benefits are continuing at this time. When we know that these extra benefits related to COVID-19 are ending, we will tell you in this space and through a letter in the mail. 

Maximum monthly benefit amounts based on eligible people in the household 
People in household Maximum monthly benefit amount
1 $250
2 $459
3 $658
4 $835
5 $992
6 $1,190
7 $1,316
8 $1,504
Each additional person $188

Food benefits for students and young children

To be notified of updates about any of the P-EBT programs, sign up to get P-EBT emails.

 

Illustration of two children holding hands

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a federal program that provides food benefits to the families of children who may be experiencing greater need because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Benefits are put on families' existing QUEST cards or on special P-EBT cards if they don't have a QUEST card. Families are encouraged to keep their P-EBT card even when they finish using benefits, as benefits may be put on it in the future if they are eligible.

There are three kinds of P-EBT:

School P-EBT

School P-EBT offers benefits to families of children who usually get free or reduced price meals at schools that participate in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program. 

Created by Congress in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the School P-EBT program provides vital benefits to families of children who, because of COVID-19, miss the free or reduced priced meals they would normally have gotten at their school. Only children who are enrolled in the free or reduced price meals program and who attend schools that participate in the USDA’s National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program are eligible for School P-EBT.

Wisconsin has successfully implemented School P-EBT in each of the school years since the start of the pandemic: 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022. The program’s rules and eligibility criteria have changed from year to year, but the goal has remained the same: to provide benefits to families whose children are unable to access free or reduced price meals at school because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • 2021-2022 School Year: Details about the current year’s program can be found on the main School P-EBT page. You can read Wisconsin’s federally approved School P-EBT plan for the 2021-2022 year (PDF).
  • 2022-2023 School Year: We are awaiting guidelines from our federal partners as to whether School P-EBT will continue in the 2022-2023 and, if so, how it will work. In preparation for the new school year, we encourage families to submit their Free and Reduced Price Meal (FRPL) application to their school by September 1, 2022.

Pre-6 P-EBT

Pre-6 P-EBT provides benefits for families in FoodShare with children under the age of 6  who do not receive School P-EBT during the school year.

Summer P-EBT

Wisconsin’s Summer P-EBT program provides benefits to families of eligible school-age children and eligible non-school-age children (those who were under age 6 as of September 1, 2021) to help cover the cost of meals between the current school year (2021-2022) and the next school year (2022-2023). 

You can read Wisconsin’s federally approved Summer P-EBT plan for the 2021-2022 year (PDF).

For a child to be eligible for Summer P-EBT, at least one of the following things must be true: 

  • They were enrolled in the free or reduced price meal program (at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program and that met certain other program eligibility criteria) during the 2021-2022 school year; OR
  • They received Pre-6 P-EBT benefits for the 2021-2022 school year and were part of a household that is receiving FoodShare benefits during at least one of the summer months of 2022 (June, July, or August); OR
  • They are newly enrolled in the free or reduced price meal program (at a school that participates in the National School Lunch Program) for the 2022-2023 school year; OR
  • They did not receive any Pre-6 P-EBT benefits during the 2021-2022 school year but do meet certain other program eligibility criteria and are part of a household that is receiving FoodShare benefits during at least one of the summer months of 2022 (June, July, or August).

Benefits may be available for children who become newly enrolled to receive free or reduced price meals at school if their families apply before September 1, 2022. Families whose children were not part of the free or reduced price meal program at their school in 2021-2022 should remember to submit an application by September 1.

Each eligible child will receive a total of $391 for the summer. Benefits will be sent to families with eligible children on August 20, 2022. Families whose children were not determined eligible until after that first issuance will receive benefits on October 29, 2022.

Families that have P-EBT cards should save them as Summer P-EBT benefits will be put on these cards. 


Ordering and paying for food online using your QUEST or P-EBT card

Illustration of a laptop with an image of an EBT cardIf you get FoodShare or have gotten Pandemic EBT benefits, some stores allow you to shop and pay for your groceries online. Currently, the following stores all accept QUEST or P-EBT cards for online orders on their websites:

  • ALDI
  • Amazon
  • Lou Perrine’s Gas and Grocery
  • Miller and Sons Supermarket
  • Meijer 
  • Ptacek's IGA
  • Sam’s Club Scan and Go
  • Schnuck’s Market
  • Walmart
  • Woodman’s Markets

(Store websites may refer to your QUEST or P-EBT card as a “SNAP EBT” or “EBT” cards.) Look for an EBT or SNAP card option when you go to pay and enter your card details. You will need to enter your card PIN each time you check out.

You can only use your QUEST or P-EBT card to buy food eligible for FoodShare. If you are buying other items at the same time, you need to use another form of payment to pay for those items.

Some stores may offer delivery. If you are charged a delivery fee, you will not be able to use your QUEST or P-EBT card to pay this fee. You will need to use another form of payment instead.

If you experience any issues when using your QUEST or P-EBT card to pay online, first make sure you have a balance on your card by going to the ebtEDGE website, using the ebtEDGE mobile app, or calling QUEST Card Service at 877-415-5164. If you have a balance and are still unable to complete your transaction, contact customer service at the store where you are trying to make the purchase for help.


FoodShare renewal updates

FoodShare Renewals Starting Again for All Members in January 2022

Starting on January 1, 2022, required FoodShare renewals will no longer be postponed for all members. If you do not complete an annual renewal, you will lose your benefits for the following month. Renewals usually take place 12 months after you start getting FoodShare benefits, and you must complete an interview. Over the past two years, these dates have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic public health emergency.

You will get a letter in the mail about a month before your renewal is due. You will also be alerted that you need to complete a renewal in your ACCESS account.

You can read more about this update in our December 15. 2021, partner email, which includes information about what a FoodShare renewal is, plus how and when you need to complete it. It also contains information about the interview you are required to complete as part of your renewal.

Renewals due in March, April, May, and June 2021 postponed for 12 months

We have postponed renewals that were originally due in March, April, May, and June 2021 for a total of 12 months. If your renewal was due in those months, you will now need to complete the renewal process in March, April, May, and June 2022 instead. You will get either a letter in the mail or an email about 45 days before your renewal is due. You will also see a message in your ACCESS account.

Last Revised: July 13, 2022

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