LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As always we took a look at the top trending stories on our website during 6 News This Morning.

Here is a breakdown of those stories:

1.27 Million Michiganders to Receive Food Assistance Benefits

Michigan Families who qualify for food assistance benefits can now expect an additional payment this month.

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), the additional payment is due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Approximately 1.27 million Michiganders will receive additional benefits. The benefits can be seen on their bridge card from Dec. 18 to 27.

The benefits will be loaded onto Bridge Cards as a separate payment from the assistance that is provided earlier in the month.

Here are the maximum benefits for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program customers based on their respective household size: 

  • One Person: $250
  • Two Persons: $459
  • Three Persons: $658
  • Four Persons: $835
  • Five Persons: $992
  • Six Persons: $1,190
  • Seven Persons: $1,316
  • Eight Persons: $1,504

Airline CEO Questions Mask Mandate

The debate of the mask mandate on airlines continues and Southwest Airlines CEO, Gary Kelly told a senate panel, the air in passenger jets’ cabins is so clean that face masks “don’t add much” additional protection against the spread of COVID-19 on planes.

“The statistics, I recall, is that 99.97% of airborne pathogens are captured by the HEPA [high-efficiency particulate air] filtering system, and it’s turned over every two or three minutes,” Kelly told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee during a hearing on airline oversight.

The hearing examined how the airlines have used the $54 billion in federal grants given to them at the beginning of the pandemic. 

Southwest Airlines continue to follow the federal mask mandate, but released a statement saying the air distribution system already creates a protective environment, before the mask mandate.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker added during the hearing that an, “Aircraft is the safest place you can be.”

Later, American Airlines spokeswoman Stacy Day later clarified to The Hill that Parker’s statements were not intended to “cast doubt on the necessity of face masks on planes.”

President Biden has renewed the mask mandates until March of 2022 and the conversation continues.

Irene Dunham Turns 114 and Becomes the 18th Oldest Person in the World

This week 6 News spoke with Irene Dunham, the 18th oldest person in the world. Irene turned 114 on Thursday, Dec. 16. She lives in Dewitt Township.

Irene has survived colon cancer, The Great Depression, two pandemics, two world wars and the Bath Township Massacre in 1927.

Dunham told 6 news that hard work is the secret to living a long life. She has stayed active over the years by gardening and says it is one of her favorite things to do.

“I guess my kids tell me god knows he’s keeping me for something,” Dunham said. “So I look around and I wonder what’s he keeping me for.”