The Macomb Daily

Pandemic extra food assistance set to expire soon

- By Anne Runkle arunkle@medianewsg­

Families who receive food assistance through the federal Supplement­al Nutrition Assistance Program should prepare for a decrease in benefits that were given during the pandemic.

Recent federal legislatio­n will end the increased food stamp payments, according to a release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

February will be the last month that people in Michigan and other states receive the extra food assistance benefits, which have been at least $95 per month. However, the benefits lost could total more than $500 per month, depending on size of the household and other factors.

Those affected may seek resources to accommodat­e this reduction in benefits. Options include food banks and other agencies in their communitie­s, which can be found at www.michigan. gov/MIBridges under the “Explore Resources” tab, or by calling 211.

People affected by the changes can visit www. for informatio­n about resources, such as free and reducedpri­ce school lunches, the WIC program for women and babies, and Double Up Food Bucks. That program matches every $1 that Bridge Card users spend on fresh fruits and vegetables purchased from participat­ing retailers.

For family budgeting purposes, SNAP benefits are available to use for nine months once they are issued.

Regular benefits are based on household size, income and deductions. The amount of the decrease will vary based on individual circumstan­ces.

As an example, singlepers­on households with a net monthly income of $700 could see their total monthly SNAP benefit drop from $281 to $71. A fourperson household with a net income of $1,700 could see their assistance drop from $939 to $429.

Michigande­rs who receive food assistance can check their regular monthly amount on their Michigan bridge card by going to or by calling 844464-3447.

More informatio­n about how benefits connected to the pandemic are changing can be found at Michigan. gov/2023Benefi­tChanges

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