Michigan is temporarily expanding food assistance benefits to help low-income college students struggling financially during the pandemic.
The change could make approximately 200,000 more Michigan college students eliglble for as much as $234 per month. The money would go to students who buy and prepare their food alone.
“College students should not have to choose between furthering their education and putting food on the table – especially during a pandemic,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says in a statement Wednesday. “I am pleased that we are able to work with the Biden administration to help college students in Michigan.”
Under the short-term change, starting Thursday, students may be eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits if their families are unable to contribute to college costs or if their school considers them eligible for a federal or state work study program – regardless if they're enrolled in such a program.
Expanded eligibility lasts until 30 days after expiration of the federal public health emergency for Covid.
Students must attend college at least half-time and meet income and other requirements for food assistance.
“Many Michigan college students lost their jobs due to no fault of their own as a result of the pandemic,” Elizabeth Hertel, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, says in the news release. “Expanding access to food and making it easier for our residents who are in need to apply for help are priorities of the department. Even before the pandemic, many students struggled to afford enough food while paying for college."
College students and others can determine if they are eligible and apply for food assistance here.