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810k virtual students to receive food assistance

Emergency food assistance sites set up in Kent County
Posted at 12:10 PM, Mar 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-15 12:10:52-04

LANSING, Mich. — About 810,000 Michigan children who attend school virtually will begin receiving food assistance this month.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is automatically issuing the additional benefits now through the end of March, according to a news release Monday.

Monthly payments will continue through June.

This is the second time Michigan has received federal approval of Pandemic-EBT benefits. Last school year, Michigan was the first state to qualify.

Families will be able to use the funds to pay for food at stores or online.

“Michigan has been a national leader in making sure families can put food on the table during COVID and this pandemic-EBT will continue to ensure that no child in our state goes hungry during the pandemic,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “Students are steadily returning to in-person learning because of the progress we’ve made in combating COVID-19, but kids who don’t go to school five days a week have a harder time accessing the free and reduced-price meals available to them at school. Pandemic-EBT closes this gap, giving our children another option for accessing nutritious food.”

Students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12 are eligible if they qualify for free or reduced-price lunches at school and in-person learning is not available at their school or is not available on a full-time basis.

Families will receive about $127 per month for each eligible child who is fully virtual and about $77 for a child on a hybrid learning schedule.

Monthly benefits will vary based on the number of school days in each month.

Benefits are retroactive to September, with assistance from September through February paid this month.

Payments will be paid automatically, so families do not need to apply to receive the assistance.

Those who don’t already receive assistance will receive cards in the mail that they can use to purchase food.