In Michigan
4:45 pm
Thu March 18, 2010

State will increase cash food assistance benefit

Lansing, MI – LANSING, MI (WKAR)- The state of Michigan is offering an increase to its food assistance program that officials say will benefit as many as 360,000 people.

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The state will use dollars from a federal home energy program to allow thousands of people to qualify for an additional food assistance benefit. Officials say that will give about 180,000 households an average of $88 more each month to spend on groceries.

Jane Marshall is the executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan, which serves about 1 million state residents.

"It'll provide $88 dollars of surplus from their budget somewhere else that they might be able to use to pay for school clothes or pay for a car repair or a housing bill," Marshall says. "So, it's all about putting together enough money for a family to make ends meet."

The benefit took effect March 1 and works through the state's bridge card program. Officials estimate it will generate $360 million in economic activity each year.