LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Wednesday that $38 million in federal dollars is set to go towards helping families feed their youngsters.

Michigan children whose access to nutritious school meals was limited by learning from home as a result of the pandemic, will now receive assistance benefits.

Families can use these benefits to pay for food at stores or online.

MDHHS says that the state has gained federal approval for a third round of Pandemic-EBT benefits. Approximately 90,000 children are eligible for Pandemic-EBT benefits.

Food assistance benefits will go towards Michigan families with students ages 5-18 who are enrolled in the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) program for students eligible for free or reduced-price school meals.

Student Eligibility Requirements

  • Grades pre-kindergarten through 12th are eligible if they qualify for free or reduced-price lunches at school.
  • Learned remotely for at least part of the school year.
  • Attended an in-person school.
  • In-person learning is or was not available at their school for either a full or partial month. 

Pandemic-EBT provides students means to wholesome food, who had in-person classes disrupted due to COVID-19.

Each child receives $7.10 for each day the school is virtual, or the student is absent due to COVID-19. Families do not need to apply to receive assistance.

“I am proud of all that our team at MDHHS has done to provide easy access to food to our families during the pandemic,” said MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel. “While we are in the recovery stage of the pandemic, children and families still have great needs due to COVID-19. We are here to address those needs.”

Houses that already have food assistance benefits, will receive the Pandemic-EBT payments on their Bridge Cards. Families that do not already have food assistance will receive Pandemic-EBT cards in the mail.