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Food stamp recipients eligible for replacement benefits after power outages

Groceries, including milk, eggs and produce, sitting on a counter.
Lindsey Smith
Michigan Radio
Officials display the healthy food low income parents could buy through the pilot program.

Michigan households that receive food stamps can apply for replacement Food Assistance Program benefits if they have food that was spoiled due to recent power outages in Michigan.

The outages occurred after heavy storms rolled through southeast Michigan on Friday and Saturday. Outages continued through the weekend, with some residents without power as late as Wednesday

Kelly Bidelman is the executive director of the Center for Civil Justice. She says since the Detroit area was heavily affected by the power outages, it’s important that households that receive food stamps in that area are aware of the process. 

“In order to get replacement food assistance, recipients need to currently be receiving benefits. They will need to contact their caseworker or go to their local office. Recipients must apply within ten days after the date of the power outage. Most importantly, recipients must have written documentation with specific dates of the outage from their electric provider, whether it’s DTE or Consumers.”


She also says if a recipient’s office uses the Universal Caseload System, they can call 1 (855) 275-6424.

As of May 2019, 385,539 residents of Wayne County received Food Assistance Program benefits. According to Bidelman, about 19 percent of Michigan households receive food stamps. She says children in those households are the most vulnerable.

“The most important thing I'm concerned about are the children. Because it's summertime they're not receiving their school breakfasts or lunches, and I know a lot of times when children are attending school, they eat their last meal on Friday and they don't eat again until Monday. So it's imperative these households have enough food.” She adds that there are 338,000 children in Michigan living with food insecurity.

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