Friday, February 22nd

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Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue tours the Hunger Task Force farm in Franklin in 2017. Here Sherrie Tussler, executive director of Hunger Task Force (right), explains to Perdue how they pack food boxes for families and seniors who utilize some of the U.S.D.A. commodity food.(Photo: Michael Sears, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

MADISON - The use of food stamps jumped by 200 percent in January in Wisconsin amid the federal government shutdown, according to the state Department of Health Services.

The Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee attributes the spike in part to confusion over FoodShare benefits while the federal government was closed. False reports led many to quickly use their benefits because they wrongly believed they would expire Jan. 31.

Beneficiaries will get their next allocations on March 1.

The federal government provided many recipients their February benefits early because of concerns it would not be able to release them at all if the shutdown continued into February.