MI Food Assistance Extended Through August for 350,000 Families

With the pandemic still wreaking havoc on many individual family budgets, Michigan’s Department of Health & Human Services has extended additional food service for some 350,000 Michigan families through the end of August.

The department announced this morning that approximately 350,000 Michigan families will continue to have access to those additional food assistance benefits during August as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

Lewis Roubal, Chief Deputy Director of Opportunity for MDHHS, tells us, “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,” and adds, “The department wants to provide additional assistance to help them through this health care and economic emergency.”

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Eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card by August 30th, with payments beginning for some households on Thursday, August 20th. 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 table below shows the maximum allowable benefit for SNAP customers based on their respective household size:

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

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 http://www.michigan.gov/MIBridges  or by contacting a consumer service representative toll-free at 888-678-8914. They can ask questions about the additional benefits by calling or emailing their caseworker.

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