To help with the cost of groceries, Michigan families eligible for food assistance can expect extra help this month ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Michigan families receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, will receive at least $95 more this month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Tuesday.
Additional food assistance for eligible families will help more than 1.3 million Michiganders in more than 700,000 households, MDHHS said in a news release.
“This extra $95 will help families get a little breathing room as we enter the holiday season,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in the statement. “I will continue to work with anyone at the federal and state level to help Michiganders put food on the table and keep their hard-earned dollars to pay for other critical household expenses.”
The additional benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards through Nov. 21. The added benefit will show as a separate payment from benefits already loaded on cards earlier this month. There is no need to reapply for the additional benefits.
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In October, those receiving food assistance benefits also received a cost of living increase.
Food inflation has been scorching hot and increasing since this time last year. Consumers have been paying more for grocery items as prices increased by double-digits in the last few months. This is the fastest rate of increase in food prices in four decades.
In October, grocery costs rose 12.4% over the last 12 months according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly Consumer Price Index report released Thursday. The cost for food items in four of the six categories that the BLS tracks rose in October. Cereals, bakery products, dairy and related products increased by more than 15%, while meats, poultry, fish and eggs saw an 8% increase over the last 12 months.
The federal government is providing the additional funding to those receiving SNAP benefits in response to COVID-19 under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
People can check their Bridge Card balance online at michigan.gov/MIBridges or call 888-678-8914. The customer service line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Spanish and Arabic services are available. For those that are deaf, deaf-blind or hard of hearing or speech-impaired can call the Michigan Relay Center at 711. For questions about the additional benefits, call or email your caseworker.
Here are the maximum benefits recipients will receive:
One person: $281
Two people: $516
Three people: $740
Four people: $939
Five people: $1,116
Six people: $1,339
Seven people: $1,480
Eight people: $1,691
Contact Detroit Free Press food writer Susan Selasky and send food and restaurant news to: email@example.com. Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.
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