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Local organization supports community members in need of FoodShare services

Hunger Task Force advocates offer assistance through every step of application process
Posted at 6:50 AM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-24 07:50:16-04

MILWAUKEE — Many families face difficult decisions when it comes to affording basic needs, like having enough food, and applying for federal assistance can seem daunting. For one community, the task may seem almost impossible.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, is the federal name for the service that offers benefits for people with limited money to get the food they need. In Wisconsin, that program is known as FoodShare.

In Milwaukee, organizations like the Hunger Task Force work to bridge the gap between federal resources and the communities that need them.

Historically, one group that has struggled to petition and claim these available funds is the Hispanic/Latino community.

Foodshare Advocate Armando Hernandez and his team work to try to destigmatize what he calls the act of asking and let people know there are people in their own backyard that are willing to help.

“There's still some people out there, even people that live near the neighborhood that are not aware of this office. So, other times we do go out into the community and then talk to them, make them aware of our location, what we do and how we help individuals with their benefits,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez says that for many of the people his team serves, one common thought prevents them from applying for the benefits they’ve earned and deserve.

“The main myth is that people think that, by them requesting benefits, it’ll affect their immigration status. Or if they’re in the process of obtaining permanent residence status,” said Hernandez.

Another longstanding myth and source of misinformation is the idea that if they receive benefits, they must pay them back. Hernandez says not only is that inaccurate, but it can also be harmful.

To fight that, the FoodShare Advocacy Team on West Historic Mitchell Street works five days a week to offer assistance through every step of the application process.

The location also offers help in seven different languages, which Hernandez says is instrumental in the team’s success.

“After being here, they know that they’re going to be serviced or assisted by somebody who speaks their language,” said Hernandez. “It doesn't have to be necessarily a Hispanic or Latino family or individual. We welcome all individuals. We help everybody who comes here and requests benefits.”

Hunger Task Force has another FoodShare Resource location at Midtown Center with employees that are ready to help. For more information, click here.

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