By Jessica Mathews /

Livingston County families and others across the state will continue to have access to additional food assistance benefits during March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that the state previously approved the additional food assistance beginning in March 2020, which is now being extended for March 2021 following federal approval. The move will continue supporting 350,000 families throughout Michigan and eligible clients will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card March 20th to 30th. Additional benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards as a separate payment from the assistance provided earlier in the month.

Nearly 1.3 million people in Michigan receive federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits through the state’s Food Assistance Program. Households eligible for Food Assistance Program benefits will receive additional benefits in March to bring all current SNAP cases to the maximum monthly allowance for that group size.

It was noted the change only applies to customers not currently receiving the maximum benefit amount. The 350,000 households that receive increased benefits represent close to 50 percent of the more than 707,000 Michigan households that received food assistance in January. The remaining households already receive the maximum benefit. Eligible families do not need to re-apply to receive the additional benefits.

Information about the maximum allowable benefits for SNAP customers based on their respective household size is available in the provided link.