Starting this January the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Michigan residents who receive food stamps will be given an additional monthly payment of at least $95 a month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  This additional payment will be funded by the federal government.

In that announcement, we find out that according to the state of Michigan approximately 1.28 million Michigan residents in approximately 700,000 households will receive the additional food assistance benefits.

Governor Whitmer stated:

"As we face the omicron variant of COVID-19, we must continue delivering support to Michigan families for their basic needs…My administration will keep working with our federal partners to do whatever we can to make sure Michigan families can put food on the table."

I asked myself what the virus has to do with receiving additional food stamps. What is the difference when it comes to other people feeding your family before, during or after the pandemic?

When I saw this announcement by the state I asked myself the question what can you purchase and not purchase with your food stamps.  The state of Michigan answered my question with the following:

What can you purchase?

Any food for the household, such as:

  • Fruits and vegetables;
  • Meat, poultry, and fish;
  • Dairy products;
  • Breads and cereals;
  • Other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages; and
  • Seeds and plants, which produce food for the household to eat.

What can you not purchase?

Households CANNOT use SNAP benefits to buy:

  • Beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, or tobacco
  • Vitamins, medicines, and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for SNAP purchase.
  • Live animals (except shellfish, fish removed from water, and animals slaughtered prior to pick-up from the store).
  • Foods that are hot at the point of sale
  • Any nonfood items such as: - Pet foods   - Cleaning supplies, paper products, and other household supplies.
  • Hygiene items, cosmetics

I then asked myself and my wife how much money my family of four spends on food each month.  We believe we spend approximately $500.00 a month, taking into account what can and cannot be purchased with food stamps.

With the additional food stamps dollars eligible Michigan residents will receive according to the state of Michigan:

“the maximum allowable benefits for SNAP 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

LOOK: Food history from the year you were born

From product innovations to major recalls, Stacker researched what happened in food history every year since 1921, according to news and government sources.

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