FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 21, 2021
CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112, wheatonb@
Gov. Whitmer, MDHHS announce food assistance recipients will see additional benefits by end of January
Fifteen percent increase in payments will help families cope with pandemic
LANSING, Mich. – The more than 1.2 million people in Michigan who are eligible for food assistance benefits will receive an additional payment by the end of January that raises their monthly amount by 15% to help families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 15% increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is for six months, ending in June.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) advocated for the increase led by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and were pleased to see it ultimately included in the recently passed Congressional relief bill.
“No Michigander should worry about how they’ll put food on the table for themselves and their family, especially during a pandemic,” said Gov. Whitmer. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our state, and we must continue providing crucial support to families that need it most. “I want to thank Sen. Stabenow for her leadership in securing this important increase and for her tireless efforts to expand access to food assistance, which has brought relief to so many Michiganders in need throughout this pandemic.”
Michigan food assistance recipients will see the 15% increase added to their Bridge Cards by the end of January that are in addition to benefits they received earlier in the month. Food assistance increases by $102 per month for a household of four, which will now receive $782 per month. In subsequent months, the 15% increase will be added to Bridge Cards from Jan. 20-30.
“Helping families put food on the table is our job,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We’re glad we can provide more food assistance to Michiganders who are in need as a result of COVID-19.”
Whitmer and MDHHS also are announcing continuation in January of an initiative that provides additional food assistance to 350,000 Michigan families as a response to the pandemic. Through the initiative, anyone receiving food assistance who doesn’t already qualify for the maximum monthly benefits will see their payment raised to the maximum monthly amount for their household size. Eligible clients will see these additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card by Jan. 30, with payments beginning for some households on Jan. 20. Anyone who receives both this payment and the 15 percent increase will receive them on the same day.
Below are the new maximum allowable benefits for SNAP customers based on their respective household size for January through June:
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 by calling a customer 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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 20, 2021
Media Contact: Press@Michigan.gov
Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Gilchrist: President Biden’s Strong Administrative Actions will Save Lives, Create a More Equitable America
LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II released the following statements after President Biden took bold administrative action on his first day in office to implement a national strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic, fight climate change, and advance racial equity:
“On his first day in office, President Biden has made it clear that he is committed to ending the COVID-19 pandemic once and for all and building a stronger, more sustainable nation for future generations,” said Governor Whitmer. “President Biden’s action to urge Americans everywhere to do their part and mask up and launch a coordinated national response to the pandemic will undoubtedly save lives and put us on track to defeat our common enemy: COVID-19. And President Biden knows that the health of our people is inextricably linked with the health of our climate. His swift action to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and combat climate change will ensure a safer planet for our kids, grandkids, and generations to come. President Biden’s message is clear: we must all join forces to end the pandemic, save lives, and build back our country better. Let’s get to work.”
“President Joe Biden is making good on his promise to be a president for all Americans, not just in title, but by his words and his actions,” Lt. Governor Gilchrist said. “By taking strong action to provide the relief that so many people need in this moment, we can keep alive the hopes and dreams of so many during these difficult times. I applaud President Joe Biden for immediately extending the eviction and foreclosure moratorium to keep families in their homes; expanding the student loan pause to give individuals the financial freedom to get on their feet; and following through on his promise to root out systemic racism, lift the Muslim travel ban, and make America a more welcoming place. Through his leadership and executive actions, Americans can rest assured that they will no longer be forced to face our generation’s greatest challenges alone. As President Joe Biden said, we will get through this together.”