Whitmer: MDHHS gains federal approval to continue additional emergency food assistance benefits for 1.25 million people

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 22, 2021 

CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. - All Michigan families who are eligible for food assistance benefits are receiving an additional monthly payment in July in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced today.

More than 1.25 million people in close to 700,000 Michigan households will benefit under approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Services.

"As we emerge from the pandemic and continue our economic jumpstart, we must use the federal dollars we have to help Michiganders put food on the table," Gov. Whitmer said. "My administration, MDHHS, Sen. Stabenow and other partners have and continue to work tirelessly to ensure that nobody experiences hunger, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. It is essential for us to continue our efforts, and I thank the Biden administration for helping us feed 1.25 million Michiganders."

Some Michiganders began receiving additional food assistance in April 2020 after the beginning of the pandemic the month before. In May 2021, all eligible households began getting extra monthly benefits. Federal approval is necessary every month.

"MDHHS will continue to strive to help low-income residents who have been affected by the pandemic put food on the table," said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. "Many residents have been forced to leave the workforce - whether it's due to lack of child care, health effects from COVID, or other reasons. There is still great need for this food assistance."

All households eligible for SNAP receive an increase of at least $95 monthly, even if they are already receiving the maximum payment or are close to that amount. Households that received over $95 to bring them to the maximum payment for their group size will continue to receive that larger amount.

Eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card by July 27. Additional benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards as a separate payment from the assistance that is provided earlier in the month.

"As Michiganders emerge from the pandemic and once again prove their resilience, we should continue to help those who'se recovery will take a bit longer than others," said Phillip Knight, exeutive director of the Michigan Food Bank Council and chair of Gov. Whitmer's Food Security Council. "Helping families remain food-secure as they recover financially will only make our economy stronger faster. Food security is the first step in helping people leverage themselves out of economic hardship and find their next success.Additionally, this food assistance will help take pressure off the charitable food system and allow our members to serve other families who may not receive this benefit.The members of the Food Security Council fully support this intervention." 

Below are the maximum allowable benefits for SNAP customers based on their respective household size: 

  • One Person: $234
  • Two Persons: $430
  • Three Persons: $616
  • Four Persons: $782
  • Five Persons: $929
  • Six Persons: $1,114
  • Seven Persons: $1,232
  • Eight Persons: $1,408

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 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, seven 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.

Information around the COVID-19 outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.  

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