Hunger Resources


Hunger at Our Doorstep: A Study Action Guide for Wisconsin Congregations

Hunger_Study_Guide_Cover 2014webRevised and Updated!

This resource from the Wisconsin Council of Churches aims to help congregations learn about – and respond to – hunger in their communities. Basic questions about hunger provide the starting point for the curriculum: Who is hungry in Wisconsin? What are the impacts of hunger? What can be done about hunger? What does the Bible say about hunger? Answering these questions is just the beginning. This curriculum is called a study-action guide because it aims to lead congregations to take concrete steps to help their hungry neighbors, in partnership with others in their community.  Learn more.

Help for People Facing Hunger

Do you minister to seniors as a pastor, volunteer, or member of a senior group?

Thousands of seniors are making tough choices in these difficult economic times. Choices like, “Do I buy my medication or groceries?” FoodShare and the QUEST Card could give them at least $192 each year for groceries.  Learn more about how you and your church can help!

2-1-1 Wisconsin is an information and assistance line available statewide. They keep an updated list of community resources (including food pantry locations, hours and requirements) and give contact information to anyone who calls. It is free, confidential, easy to use and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can see a map with contact information for the state of Wisconsin.

In Wisconsin, FoodShare (also known as Quest, EBT, and SNAP) helps stretch your budget by depositing money on a debit-like card once per month to help buy groceries. Feeding Wisconsin’s FoodShare Helpline at 1-877-366-3635  connects Wisconsinites interested in the program with information, eligibility screenings and friendly, high-quality application assistance.  More information is also available at

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) promotes and maintains the health and well-being of nutritionally at-risk pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children. WIC provides nutrition education, breastfeeding education and support, supplemental nutritious foods, and referrals to other health and nutrition services. More information including income guidelines can be found here.

The FoodShare Employment and Training (FSET) program is a free program that helps FoodShare members build their job skills and find jobs. FSET will assess your strengths, needs and preferences to help you with getting a job. If you are interested in FSET services, contact your agency to ask what FSET services are available in your area

Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program provides assistance for heating costs, electric costs, and energy crisis situations. For more information about your local energy assistance office, click here or call 1-866-432-8947.

ACCESS is an on-line tool to help Wisconsin families see if they might qualify for FoodShare benefits, Medicaid, BadgerCare, SeniorCare, and other health and nutrition programs by answering a few simple questions about their household’s income and bills.

Learn More About Hunger in Wisconsin: Causes, Impacts and Solutions

Anti-Hunger Organizations


Feeding Wisconsin – Feeding Wisconsin is the statewide association of the Feeding America food banks that sources, warehouses, and provides food to over 750 affiliated agencies and 1,500 local food programs throughout the state.  To help connect eligible households with nutrition assistance, Feeding America conducts FoodShare Outreach and operates a FoodShare Helpline at 1-877-366-3635.  There are also six Feeding America affiliated food banks that cover regions in Wisconsin:

Hunger Task Force – Operates as both a food bank and an advocacy organization to combat hunger in Wisconsin.  201 S. Hawley Court, Milwaukee, WI 53214, Phone: 414/777-0483

Wisconsin Community Action Program Association – WISCAP is a professional organization of Community Action Agencies (CAAs), which are independent, community-based, non-profit corporations or commissions. CAAs throughout the state are involved in numerous activities related to food security. 1310 Mendota Street, Suite 107, Madison, WI 53714, 608/244-0745


Bread for the World (BFW) – members are organized by congressional district into local networks nationwide to write, call and visit members of Congress, and generate media attention about national legislation and other efforts that address hunger.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development – The domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Catholic bishops which addresses the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education.

Feeding America – The nation’s largest charitable hunger-relief organization with a network of more than 200 Member food banks and food-rescue organizations.

MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger – allocates donations from the Jewish community to prevent and alleviate hunger among people of all faiths and backgrounds.

The No Kid Hungry campaign of Share Our Strength connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority.

Educational Resources

Hunger and Poverty Simulations

CAP Services offers programs in Marquette, Outagamie, Portage, Waupaca, and Waushara counties, including poverty simulations.

Community Food Experience – simulates the food security challenges faced by millions in our country and explores both the barriers to access and the impact food insecurity has on community health. This activity can be facilitated with groups of 20-50 people ages 12-adult. The simulation takes about 1.5 hours.  From the Atlanta Community Food Bank.

Food for Today: An Interactive Hunger Simulation from Hunger Task Force. a 90-minute, interactive hunger simulation that reproduces the challenges that confront low-income individuals and families struggling to feed themselves and their families.

Play “Spent” – You are unemployed, you’ve lost your house, your savings are gone, and you’re a single parent.  You are down to your last $1000.  Can you make it through the month?

Tour Poverty USA – A four-minute video by the Catholic Campaign for Human Development presenting the difficulties of budgeting for a family at the poverty line. (Scroll down on the CCHD Videos page to find the video.)

Hunger Curricula for Young People

Atlanta Community Food Bank offers Hunger 101 (see under “Hunger 101 Curriculum,” “Curriculum Resources,” and “Curriculum Activities” on the ACFB Educational Materials page) and the Community Food Experience game (see under “Additional Activities” on the ACFB page) which can be downloaded and used free of charge, for a variety of age groups.

Hunger and Poverty Information


Annie E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Data Center – Access hundreds of measures of child well-being, by state or nationally and across states, and create your own maps, graphs and rankings.

 “Ending Hunger in Wisconsin – An Action Plan.” – Describes the “four legs” supporting food security and actions that can strengthen each of them: Family Economic Security; Access to Affordable and Healthy Food; Federal Nutrition Programs, and Emergency Food Assistance.

Institute for Research on Poverty – A center for interdisciplinary research into the causes and consequences of poverty and social inequality in the United States, with a particular interest in poverty and family welfare in Wisconsin.

“Map the Meal Gap” from Second Harvest  provides interactive maps with data at the state, county, and congressional district levels on overall and child food insecurity, food prices and household budget shortfalls, and eligibility for federal nutrition assistance programs.

University of Wisconsin Extension-County Offices – Extension offices and their staff, including Family Living Educators and Nutrition Coordinators, are an excellent source of local resources and information on hunger and poverty issues. Additional resources on the Extension website include:

UW-Extension Family Living Programs  – Research-based education and partnerships that support Wisconsin families and communities. Topic areas include: Food, Nutrition, and Health; Family Financial Security; and Families and Communities. 637 Extension Building, 432 Lake St., Madison, WI 53706, 608/263-1095.

FoodWIse works out of county Cooperative Extension offices and in collaboration with state and local partners. The program employs a combination of evidence-based educational strategies, accompanied by environmental supports, designed to facilitate voluntary adoption of healthy food choices and active lifestyles. FoodWIse is federally funded by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and serves Wisconsin residents with limited incomes.


Food Security Project – An online tool for creating customized maps and profiles by county, municipality, or school district that show characteristics relating to population, poverty, food security, etc.

Applied Population Laboratory Resources – Scroll down to “Local Demographic Profiles” to find:

Wisconsin Poverty & Food Insecurity Profiles – This series of reports on poverty and food security summarize recent trends in poverty and food security for each county with comparisons to the state, and include a discussion of implications for policy and programs.

Poverty Data for selected age and race/ethnicity groups by census tracts, with county maps showing tract boundaries

Wisconsin and County Housing Profiles – Learn about key demographic factors and critical issues related to housing in Wisconsin. Topics covered include the housing market, foreclosure impacts, housing affordability challenges, vacancy rates, and more

Workforce Profiles – The County Workforce Profiles, created by the labor market analysis and economists in DWD’s Office of Economic Advisors, provides snapshots of the labor market in every Wisconsin county.

Community Food Security Assessment

Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit – The United States Department of Agriculture’s extensive and detailed guide for collecting and analyzing information to evaluate a community’s food security.


USDA Economic Research Service – Food & Nutrition Assistance – Reports on hunger, poverty, and federal nutrition programs, including the annual Food Security in the United States report.

USDA Food Environment Atlas –  An interactive atlas of food environment factors—such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics—that interact to influence food choices and diet quality.

State and Federal Assistance Programs

United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service – Information and resources on food stamps, school meals, summer food service and other food and nutrition programs.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Hunger/Nutrition Programs – Information on FoodShare (Wisconsin’s SNAP program, formerly known as “food stamps”); Women, Infants and Children (WIC); Elderly Nutrition Program; Emergency Food Assistance; and other programs.

Public Policy

Advocacy Resources

Visit the WCC’s Advocacy Page to find information on legislators and legislation and other advocacy resources.


Bread for the World (BFW) – BFW members are organized by congressional district into local networks nationwide to write, call and visit members of Congress, and generate media attention about national legislation and other efforts that address hunger.

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – Food Assistance – Reports and analyses of food assistance programs and policy developments.

Feeding Wisconsin – The statewide association of Feeding America food banks also works to educate elected officials and policymakers on the issue of hunger and advocates for public and private solutions.

Hunger Task Force – Operates as both a food bank and an advocacy organization to combat hunger in Wisconsin. 201 S. Hawley Court, Milwaukee, WI 53214, Phone: 414/777-0483

Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) – A nonprofit and nonpartisan research and public policy center that serves as the hub of an anti-hunger network of thousands of individuals and agencies across the country.

Vote to End Hunger is a broad coalition of individuals and organizations all committed to asking candidates for public office in the 2016 election: “If elected, what will you do to end hunger, alleviate poverty, and create opportunity in the US and worldwide?”

Activities and Events

Crop Hunger Walk – Community-based fund raising events to raise money for local hunger-fighting agencies as well as the international relief and development efforts of Church World Service.

Hunger Action Month – A multi-faceted effort to mobilize the public to end hunger in the United States, sponsored by Feeding America and held in September.

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