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MDHHS: Food assistance benefits going to eligible families due to remote learning

Families whose children could not access free or reduced price lunches because of remote learning or absences due to COVID-19 are receiving federal benefits.

MICHIGAN, USA — As a part of ongoing pandemic relief efforts, Michigan children whose access to meals has been impacted by remote learning this year will receive food assistance benefits.

These benefits are part of a third round of Pandemic-EBT funds, and will go toward approximately 90,000 eligible children in the state, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Students in pre-K through 12th grade are eligible if they receive free or reduced price meals at their school and could not access these meals due to remote learning.

More than $38 million in federal funding will provide $7.10 to each child for every day that classes were remote or the child was absent due to COVID-19. The MDHHS says these payments are retroactive until September and will be paid through June.

“This is critical support to families whose children are eligible for free or reduced-price meals,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “The Pandemic-EBT funds are important for struggling families and supplement other meals made possible through hard-working local, state and federal food service staff. It takes a village.”

Payments began last week, the MDHHS says. Families do not have to register; payments will automatically go to eligible families through Bridge cards or by mail. The MDHHS is also working with local schools to get information to distribute the benefits.

RELATED: Meijer accepting SNAP benefits for online orders in Michigan

“I am proud of all that our team at MDHHS has done to provide easy access to food to our families during the pandemic,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “While we are in the recovery stage of the pandemic, children and families still have great needs due to COVID-19. We are here to address those needs.”

Prior to receiving their card, Michiganders will receive a letter from the MDHHS explaining how to use the card and set up a PIN number. Food can be purchased from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) retailers.

Find a list of SNAP retailers here.

    

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