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Another COVID-19 boost in food assistance on the way

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.

700,000 Michigan households will continue to receive additional federal food assistance payments this month. The payments will show up in Bridge card accounts this week.

Alex Rossman is with the Michigan League for Public Policy, which advocates for human services. He said the federally funded extra payment has been re-approved monthly since the start of the emergency in April of last year.

“And it really is just acknowledging what we unfortunately all know, that the pandemic and the economic impacts of it are still happening. Families that were struggling are still struggling, perhaps even struggling more,” said Rossman.
Rossman said the spread of the delta variant is creating uncertainty about return-to-work plans. So, he said, the food assistance payments have a ripple effect through the rest of the economy.

Josh Rivera is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“We know that food insecurity has spiked in response to COVID-19 and with the delta variant running rampant in some places across the country, there’s more need for there to be food security for our residents here in Michigan,” said Rivera.

The Michigan League for Public Policy said the benefit will help two out of every 10 children in the state.

The federal government has approved the expanded payment since April 2020.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.