Lansing, MI—Increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits end today as federal legislation halting additional support for families facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic kicks in.
According to a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) press release, the extra food assistance benefits have amounted to “at least $95 a month” for the last couple of years but will stop being issued in March due to the federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.
The act was signed in December 2022 and brings a host of pandemic-era support programming to a close, including reducing additional SNAP benefits and ending continuous Medicaid enrollment.
MDHHS noted people who receive food assistance can prepare for reduced benefits by calling 211 or visiting MI Bridges to find food banks or other local support organizations.
“Approximately 1.3 million Michiganders have received additional food assistance monthly during the pandemic to help them put food on the table in challenging times,” said Lewis Roubal, MDHHS chief deputy director for opportunity. “Now that we know the additional benefits will be going away, we want to make sure our clients are prepared for this change, as we realize inflation is affecting all of us.”
Flint residents affected by the upcoming changes can find additional resources here, including information on free and reduced-price school lunches, the WIC program for women and babies, and Double Up Food Bucks—which provides $1 in Double Up Food Bucks for every $1 (up to $20 per day) that Bridge Card users spend on fresh fruits and vegetables purchased from participating retailers.
Regular SNAP benefit amounts are based on household size, income and deductions. The amount of a household’s decrease will vary based on the family’s circumstances, according to MDHHS.
As an example, single-person households with a net monthly income of $700 could see their total monthly SNAP benefit drop from $281 to $71 in March. A four-person household with a net income of $1,700 could see their assistance drop from $939 to $429.
According to recent data from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 1 in 7 Michigan residents received SNAP benefits in 2022, or about 13% of the state’s population.
But in Genesee County, the recipient count is higher. According to the most recent data from MDHHS, 81,265 residents, or about 20% of the county’s population, were receiving food assistance as of January 2023.
Flint residents who receive food assistance can check their regular monthly food assistance amount on their Michigan Bridge Card by going online to MI Bridges or calling 844-464-3447. They can also go to the ebtEDGE portal or call 888-678-8914 to check their remaining balance available to spend on food.
According to MDHHS, customer service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and Spanish and Arabic service is also available. If you are deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing or speech-impaired, call the Michigan Relay Center at 711.