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Michigan Department of Human Services announces new MiCAP food assistance benefits

Contact: Edward Woods III, DHS communications director (517) 373-7394
Agency: Human Services

Dec. 18, 2008

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Michigan Department of Human Services Director Ismael Ahmed announced Thursday that as many as 80,000 Michigan senior citizens and adults with disabilities could automatically get help with their food budgets next year under a federal pilot project.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service granted Michigan a series of waivers allowing the state to implement the Michigan Combined Application Project (MiCAP). Under the project, adults who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and who live independently could receive at least $60 each month in food assistance.

"We are the first state in the Midwest to be approved for this demonstration project, which we estimate will generate an additional $47 million to the state's economy," Ahmed said. "Under MiCAP, we will be able to provide increased access to nutritious food for a vulnerable population, senior citizens and people who have disabilities."

Sharon Gire, director of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging, joined Ahmed and Meijer CEO Hank Meijer at the announcement of the new project at the Plainfield Avenue grocery store in Grand Rapids.

"MiCAP will increase purchasing power for many seniors in a very convenient manner," Gire said. "No application will be necessary for some clients and they won't be required to travel to their local DHS office. The project offers a seamless and efficient new way to ensure senior citizens have access to wholesome food."

SSI recipients - needy persons who are at least 65, blind or disabled - should expect notice in the mail of this added benefit as early as April 2009.

"We are committed to our customers' health and well-being," Meijer said. "We are pleased to know that more people in our communities will have the resources they need to buy healthy food."

For more information, please visit the DHS Web site.

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