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350K Michigan families to receive additional food assistance in December

Assistance extended in response to COVID-19
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Posted at 9:45 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 09:45:55-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — About 350,000 Michigan families will continue to have access to additional food assistance benefits during December as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state government officials announced Thursday.

Michigan previously approved the additional food assistance beginning in March, and now that is being extended for the month of December with approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.

“No Michigander should have to worry about how they’ll put food on the table for themselves and their families, especially during a pandemic,” Gov. Whitmer said. “That’s why my administration is working hard to provide some support to families who need it most. I will continue working with MDHHS to help every Michigander get through this crisis.”

Eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card by Dec. 30, with payments beginning for some households on Dec. 21. Additional benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards as a separate payment from the assistance that is provided earlier in the month.

More than 1.2 million people in Michigan receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through the state’s Food Assistance Program. Households eligible for Food Assistance Program benefits will receive additional benefits in December to bring all current SNAP cases to the maximum monthly allowance for that group size.

This change only applies to customers not currently receiving the maximum benefit amount, according to the MDHHS. The 350,000 households that receive increased benefits represent more than 50 percent of the more than 680,000 Michigan households that received food assistance in September. The remaining households already receive the maximum benefit.

“During the holiday season in particular we want to help families who struggle to put food on the table as a result of the pandemic,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “This additional food assistance is critically important to make sure Michigan residents have nutritious food to eat.”

Below is the maximum allowable benefit for SNAP customers based on their respective household size:

  • One person: $204
  • Two people: $374
  • Three people: $535
  • Four people: $680
  • Five people: $807
  • Six people: $969
  • Seven people: $1,071
  • Eight people: $1,224

The federal government is providing additional funding to states for food assistance under House Resolution 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act.

Eligible families do not need to reapply to receive the additional benefits. People who receive food assistance can check the balance of their benefits on their Michigan Bridge Card by going online to www.michigan.gov/MIBridges or calling a consumer service representative toll-free at 888-678-8914.