350K Michigan Families To Receive Extra Food Assistance Through August

WWJ News
August 07, 2020 - 1:41 pm
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(Photo: Marisa Fusinski/WWJ) FILE

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(WWJ) It's one less thing to worry about for families struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Friday that approximately 350,000 families in the state will continue to have access to additional food assistance benefits during August as a response to the COVID-19 crisis.

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Michigan previously approved the additional food assistance for March through July – and now that is being extended for the month of August with approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.

“COVID-19 and its impact on the economy of the nation and state has made it more difficult for many Michigan families to pay for nutritious food,” said Lewis Roubal, chief deputy director of opportunity for MDHHS, in a press release. “The department wants to provide additional assistance to help them through this health care and economic emergency.”

Eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card by August 30, with payments beginning for some households on Thursday, Aug. 20. Additional benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards as a separate payment from the assistance provided earlier in the month.

Nearly 1.5 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 August 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. The 350,000 households that receive increased benefits represent close to 50 percent of the more than 700,000 Michigan households that received food assistance in June. The remaining households already receive the maximum benefit. 

The following shows the maximum benefit allowed for SNAP customers, based on household size:

  • One Person - $194
  • Two Persons - $355
  • Three Persons - $509
  • Four Persons - $646
  • Five Persons - $768
  • Six Persons - $921
  • Seven Persons - $1,018
  • Eight Persons - $1,164

To help make this possible, the federal government is providing additional funding to states for food assistance under House Resolution 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Eligible families do not need to re-apply to receive the additional benefits. People who receive food assistance can check their benefits balance on their Michigan Bridge Card by going online to www.michigan.gov/MIBridges or by calling 888-678-8914. Those with questions about the additional benefits is urged to call or email their caseworker.

Customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Spanish and Arabic service is available. If you are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing or speech-impaired, call the Michigan Relay Center at 7-1-1.