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Additional food assistance benefits extended through May

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Posted at 11:08 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 11:08:34-04

LANSING, Mich. — Approximately 350,000 Michigan families will continue to have access to additional food assistance benefits in the month of May in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Tuesday.

The additional food assistance was initially approved for March and April – and now that is being extended for May.

“No Michigander should worry about how to put food on the table for themselves and their family, especially during a pandemic,” Gov. Whitmer said. “This is a crisis unlike anything we’ve seen before, and we must work together to do everything we can to support working families during this time. I will continue working around the clock to ensure Michigan families can access the food they need as we fight the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In April nearly 1.5 million people in Michigan received 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 May to bring all current SNAP cases to the maximum monthly allowance for that group size. The 350,000 households that receive increased benefits represent about 50 percent of the Michigan households that received food assistance in April. The remaining households already receive the maximum benefit.

Eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card this week and by May 31.

“I am glad that MDHHS has been able to expand access to food assistance and make additional benefits available to families during this crisis,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “Our staff will continue to do what they can to help Michiganders make it through difficult times unlike any we have seen in our lifetimes.”

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 additional benefits. People who receive food assistance can check their benefits balance on their Michigan Bridge Card at www.michigan.gov/mibridges or calling 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, deafblind or hard of hearing or speech-impaired, call the Michigan Relay Center at 7-1-1.

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