LANSING — Approximately 350,000 Michigan families will continue to have access to additional food assistance benefits during February as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Feb. 11.
Michigan previously approved the additional food assistance beginning in March 2020 – and now that is being extended for February 2021 with approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service.
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact virtually every aspect of our lives, the last thing Michigan families should have to worry about is being able to afford their groceries each week,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Michiganders deserve to have peace of mind in knowing resources are available to help them during this time, which is why I’m grateful we can continue providing this vital support for families throughout the state.”
Eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card by Feb. 28, with payments beginning for some households on Feb. 18. Additional benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards as a separate payment from the assistance that is provided earlier in the month.
“Extending these food assistance benefits is part of the department’s continuing efforts to help Michiganders put food on the table during the pandemic,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “We will continue to work with our partners in the federal government to provide easy access to nutritious food.”
More than 1.2 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 February 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 greater than 50 percent of the more than 690,000 Michigan households that received food assistance in September. The remaining households already receive the maximum benefit.
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, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing or speech-impaired, call the Michigan Relay Center at 7-1-1.