Whitmer highlights efforts to provide food benefits during pandemic

Posted at 9:42 AM, Jan 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-25 14:45:53-05

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer highlighted her administration's efforts to provide food benefits during pandemic in a press briefing Monday.

She was joined by Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“Our philosophy is that no one should have to worry about putting food on the table for their families – especially during a pandemic,” Whitmer said. “Michiganders need access to nutritious food to keep them healthy so they can succeed in the economy and realize their dreams, and so their children can excel in school and achieve their full potential. I will continue to fight for policies that will improve food security."

In April 2020, Michigan was the first state to receive federal approval to provide additional assistance to families, especially those with children dependent on meals at school for nutrition. All schools across Michigan canceled classes for 3 weeks during the beginning of the pandemic. That program helped feed just under 900,000 children.

On Monday, Governor Whitmer called on the Biden Administration to work with the state to support efforts to provide additional food benefits.

The Governor and MDHHS officials did not address any possible change to the plan that would allow restaurants to resume in-person dining next month.

The state announced last week that restrictions on indoor dining would be loosened Feb. 1 as COVID-19 cases have plateaued over the past few weeks. Early Monday morning the state announced webinars for restaurants scheduled this week were postponed. Those webinars were supposed to help business owners make changes to their HVAC systems to effectively move air throughout their property.