Michigan is First State to Provide Food to Families Affected by COVID-19
LANSING - Michigan has become the first state to get approval from the federal government, which allows them to provide nutritious food for children who are affected by schools closing due to COVID-19.
The program that the federal government approved is called the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Program (P-EBT). This program will provide temporary funding in order to address emergency food needs for those impacted by school closures, as well as avert financial crisis due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Michigan families with students aged 5-18 years old will receive these food assistance benefits. However, only students who are enrolled in the Michigan Department of Education program for free or reduced- price meals will be eligible for benefits. This program is expected to reach 895,000 students. The additional benefits will continue to provide nutritious school meals to children at over 2,000 sanitary locations and 700 mobile sites throughout Michigan.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director (MDHHS) Robert Gordon says,"Children should never go hungry. Yet because of COVID-19, it is a risk unlike at any time in generations. I am glad that Michigan will be the first state to deliver SNAP benefits to families that previously received free or reduced price lunches, whether or not they were SNAP eligible. In a time of terrible need, it will be a small good thing for nearly a million Michigan children."
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says, "I am proud that Michigan is the first state to receive federal approval for this program to put healthy food on the table for families that need them. The spread of COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our state. My administration will continue to work around the clock to help Michiganders through this difficult time and slow the spread of this virus."
Families who are eligible and are not getting food benefits will be mailed a preloaded Electronics Benefits Transaction (EBT) card, which will be named under the oldest student in the home.
Michigan families who have not yet received food assistance benefits are going to start receiving MDHHS notices in the mail late next week, and the EBT cards will start arriving by the first week of May.