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Another COVID boost in food assistance on the way

A box of food prepared at a food bank distribution in Petaluma, Calif. The state ranks near the bottom in enrolling people for food assistance. To change that, it's taking lessons from its robust Medi-Cal health insurance program, which targets much the same population.
A box of food prepared at a food bank distribution in Petaluma, Calif. The state ranks near the bottom in enrolling people for food assistance. To change that, it's taking lessons from its robust Medi-Cal health insurance program, which targets much the same population.

More than 700 thousand Michigan households will continue to receive an additional food assistance payment this month. The money will appear this week in Bridge card accounts.

The additional federal benefit has been extended every month since it was first approved in April of last year to help address food insecurity during the COVID-19 crisis. It helps meet the nutritional needs of two out of every 10 Michigan children.

Josh Rivera is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. He says the extra money does more than reduce food insecurity.

“These extra benefits ensure that grocery stores get additional dollars. Individuals are able to use their money for food and then the rest of their money can be used to pay things such as their rent or their utilities.”

Rivera says there’s a new round of uncertainty over the economy and return-to-work plans due to the spread of the COVID delta variant.