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    • 1. Changes to theMichigan Bridge Card: Is it Worth the Sacrifice?--------------------------------------- Michael Bennett Kaleigh Lawrence Brian Veenstra Prof. Jenn DeHaan PA 307 - 01
    • 2. FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (FAP) “The
Food
Assistance
Program
(FAP)
 supplements
the
food
purchasing
power
of
 low‐income
individuals
and
families”
(Food
 Assistance
Program
Overview,
2011).
 “The
U.S.
Department
of
Agriculture
funds
 100
percent
of
this
program”
(Food
 Assistance
Program
Overview,
2011).
 The
state
and
federal
governments
share
 administraGve
costs.
(Food
Assistance
 Program
Overview,
2011).
 DHS
determines
eligibility
for
FAP.

    • 3. Electronic Benefit Transfer Electronic
Benefit
Transfer
(EBT)
is
an
electronic
system
that
allows
a
recipient
to
authorize
transfer
of
their
government
benefits
from
a
Federal
account
to
a
retailer
account
to
pay
for
products
received
(
SNAP,
2009).
 “EBT
is
used
in
all
50
States,
the
District
of
Columbia,
Puerto
Rico,
the
Virgin
Islands,
and
Guam”
(
SNAP,
2009).
 
“State
food
stamp
agencies
work
with
contractors
to
procure
their
own
EBT
systems
for
delivery
of
Food
Stamp
and
other
state‐administered
benefit
programs”
(
SNAP,
2009).

    • 4. EBT continued.. “Once
eligibility
and
level
of
benefits
have
been
determined,
an
account
is
established
in
the
parGcipants
name,
and
food
stamp
benefits
are
deposited
electronically
in
the
account
each
month”
(SNAP,2009).
 
“A
plasGc
card,
similar
to
a
bank
card,
is
issued”
(SNAP,2009).
 “
A
personal
idenGficaGon
number
(PIN)
is
assigned
or
chosen
by
the
recipient
to
give
access
to
the
account”
(SNAP,2009).

    • 5. Michigan’s Food Assistance Program: Food
Assistance
Benefits
are
issued
into
a
food
account
 using
electronic
technology
and
a
debit
card
known
as
the
 Michigan
Bridge
Card
oZen
called
the
“Bridge
Card”.
 Assistance
administered
by
Department
of
Human
Services
 in
Michigan.

    • 6. EligibilityLow
or
No
IncomeBased
on
Household
Income
and
number
of
people
in
FAP
group.Countable
Income: Wages Rental
Income Child
Support Social
Security
and
Veteran
Benefits
    • 7. Work RequirementsTo
Receive
FAP
Benefits: Adults
who
are
already
working
may
not: Voluntarily
quit
a
job
of
30
hours
or
more
per
week.
 Voluntarily
reduce
hours
of
employment
below
30
hours
 per
week.
 Be
fired
from
a
job
for
misconduct
or
absenteeism. Adults
who
are
not
working
or
are
working
less
 than
30
hours
per
week
must: Accept
a
bona‐fide
offer
of
employment
. ParGcipate
in
employment‐related
acGviGes
that
are
 required
of
an
individual
in
order
to
receive
 unemployment
compensaGon.
(DHS)
    • 8. Work Requirements Continued…Must
also
work
at
least
80
hours
a
month
(DHS). “Unless
deferred,
household
members
age
16
through
59
must
agree
to
parGcipate
in
employment‐related
acGviGes
if
referred.
InformaGon
regarding
work
requirements
will
be
given
at
applicaGon
and
review”
(Food
Assistance
Benefits
in
Michigan,
2011,
p.2).

    • 9. Food AssistanceTotal
amount
of
Food
Assistance
based
on
deducGons
of
20%
of
total
income
and
other
allowable
expenses. Allowable
expenses
include: Medical
expenses
over
$35
a
month
not
 covered
by
a
3rd
party Some
housing
and
uGlity
costs Some
Childcare
costs Court‐ordered
Child
support
paid
to
non‐ household
member.
 
 
 (DHS)
    • 10. What Can and Cannot BeCan: Purchased?1.)
Any
non‐taxed
food
or
food
product.2.)
Seeds
and
plants
for
use
in
a
home
garden.
Cannot: 

You
cannot
buy
nonfood
items
such
as:1.)
soap


































2.)
pet
food3.)
tobacco





























4.)
paper
products,
5.)
alcoholic
beverages











6.)
HOT
foods7.)
Ready
to
Eat
foods











8.)
vitamins
or
medicines.(
Food
Assistance
Benefits
in
Michigan,
2011,
p.
2).

    • 11. Who Can Receive Benefits? “Any
“household”
that
meets
the
income
and
other
basic
eligibility
rules
shown
below
can
get
Food
Assistance
benefits”
(Food
Assistance
Benefits
in
Michigan,
2011,
p.2). 
A
household
may
be
one
person
or
a
group
of
people
who
live
together
and
customarily
buy
and
prepare
their
food
together”
(

Food
Assistance
Benefits
in
Michigan,
2011,
p.2).
 A
person
who
is
a
boarder
or
lives
in
an
insGtuGon
(with
some
excepGons)
cannot
get
Food
Assistance
benefits
(
Food
Assistance
Benefits
in
Michigan,
2011,
p.2).

    • 12. Work Requirements
 “Unless
deferred,
household
members
age
16
through
59
must
agree
to
parGcipate
in
employment‐related
acGviGes
if
referred.
InformaGon
regarding
work
requirements
will
be
given
at
applicaGon
and
review”
(Food
Assistance
Benefits
in
Michigan,
2011,
p.2).

    • 13. How To Apply:
 Anyone
has
the
right
to
apply.
 The
local
Department
of
Human
Services
(DHS)
office
gives
or
mails
applicaGons
 in
the
date
requested.
 Requests
can
be
made: 
 ‐
in
person 
 ‐
by
phone 
 ‐
by
mail 
 ‐
by
someone
else
who
can
do
this
for
the
household
 The
applicaGon
must
be
turned
into
local
DHS
office Applicants
are
given
assistance
upon
request
 The
applicaGon
is
taken
on
the
day
the
day
that
it
is
turned
in,
even
if
the
case
 worker
is
not
present.
 You
can
also
apply
online
at
hkp://www.michigan.gov/mibridges Once
in
the
program
consumers
can
also
uGlize
this
website
to
see
their
 balance,
their
worker’s
contact
informaGon
and
can
reapply
when
 necessary.
(
Food
Assistance
Benefits
in
Michigan,
2011,
p.2).

    • 14. How To Apply Continued.. Each applicant must be interviewed Interview is often over the phone unless an in- person interview is requested or consumer applying for cash benefits also. Eligible households receive their benefits by the 30th day after turning in the filing form and/or the application. Those with little or no money may be able to get Food Assistance benefits within seven days.(Food Assistance Benefits in Michigan, 2011, p.2).
    • 15. Issue: The State of Michigan is changing food assistancerequirements to be in sync with the Federal guidelines.

    • 16. New Policy“(They)
must
be
caring
for
children,
physically
or
mentally
unfit
for
employment,
parGcipaGng
in
an
on‐the‐job
training
program,
or
working
20
hours
a
week,”
said
ChrisGna
Fecher,
a
spokesperson
for
the
Michigan
Department
of
Human
Services
(DHS).
“Akending
college
by
itself
is
not
an
approved
excepGon,
and
our
department
will
enforce
that
policy
starGng
in
April”
(Witbeck,
2011).
    • 17. Why Is This An Issue?
Many college students.. FEEL that they need the assistance to make ends meet. WORRY that their assistance will be cut. DO NOT GET get assistance from parents or guardians and rely on public assistance. THINK they deserve the assistance because they are working towards being a productive member of society.
    • 18. Positive Perspectives...
 “Such
an
excepGon
is
not
only
unnecessary,
but
it
goes
 against
the
very
fiber
of
why
the
program
was
created
—
 to
help
low‐income
people.
Under
the
new
policy,
if
 students
meet
the
income
and
work
requirements,
they
 are
eligible
just
like
everyone
else”
(Inks,
2011).
 “(The
DHS)
is
ready
to
extend
a
helping
hand
to
any
 ciGzen
who
is
truly
in
need,
including
college
students
 who
…
are
taking
the
right
steps
toward
becoming
self‐ sufficient,”
(Witbeck,
2011).

    • 19. Positive Perspectives“This
is
federal
money
…
and
we’re
blowing
it
on
welfare.
We
need
to
make
sure
that
it
is
going
to
those
who
really
need
it,”
he
said.
“If
we
don’t
get
a
handle
on
these
enGtlements,
the
future
generaGons
will
have
to
foot
a
lot
of
crazy
bills
for
things
we
didn’t
address”‐
Bob
Genetski
(legislator)
(Witbeck,
2011).
“A
lot
of
taxpayers
don’t
mind
helping
people
who
are
truly
in
need
but
they
were
infuriated
to
see
that
their
tax
dollars
were
going
to
a
situaGon
that
wasn’t
needy,”
he
said.
“A
lot
of
people
who
are
really
mad
about
it
are
those
who
worked
part‐Gme
or
full‐Gme
jobs
to
get
through
college.
They
feel
as
if
the
current
generaGon
doesn’t
understand
that
work
ethic”(Witbeck,
2011).

    • 20. Negative Perspectives..“No numbers for how much money themove will save are available” - Christina Fecher;DHS spokesperson“I understand some students might abusethe program, but students by and largecannot afford food despite many stateofficials’ assertions that students shouldobtain assistance from family. My parentshelp me out with some stuff, but they can’tafford to help me out with everything...Money you get from working in the summeronly lasts for so long.” -Josh Broecker AdvertisingSenior at MSU
    • 21. Negative Perspectives:“The decision should have lashed out morebroadly at abuse by people other than collegestudents.” -State Rep. Mark Meadows D-East Lansing“I would use [a food pantry] if it were a last resort,but I think it’s for people who really really needit,” said Hildbrandt-Cooper, who said she feelscaught in the middle ground between being “toopoor to afford groceries but not poor enough fora food pantry.” - Grand Valley Lanthorn
    • 22. Positive Impacts SAVES
money
 
PotenGally
DECREASES
fraud
 ALLOWS
Food
Assistance
Program
to
serve
those
that
are
truly
in
need IMPROVES public perception of foodassistance programs and other welfare spending.
    • 23. Negative ImpactsStudents SUFFER from starvation andmalnutrition.Policy ENCOURAGES Pregnancies.Students spend less time studying and more timeWORRYING about the next meal.LOSS of revenues for grocery stores.
    • 24. Statistics“The federally funded Food Assistance Programserves almost 1.9 million Michigan residents,including 805,000 children” (Peter, 2011)DHS estimates that up to 20,000 of those usersare students qualified solely for the purpose ofbeing a college student.2010 Census showed the Michigan Population at9,883,640.20% of all Michigan Residents receive foodassistance of which 1% are students in which thispolicy impacts.
    • 25. RecommendationsMaking the state Bridge Card program uniformwith federal Food Assistance guidelines is theRIGHT DECISION. Does
not
mean
students
are
ineligible
for
FAP
benefits. There
are
other
forms
of
food
assistance. Decreases
fraud
and
makes
the
system
serve
only
those
 who
have
true
need.
    • 26. References
– Food
Assistance
Benefits
in
Michigan
(2011
).
In
State
of
Michigan
Department
of
Human
Services

Retrieved
 April
19,
2011,
from
hkp://www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/Pub_0016_206544_7.pdf– Food
Assistance
Program
Overview
(2011).
In
Department
of
Human
Services
.
Retrieved
April
19,
2011,
from
 hkp://www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,1607,7‐124‐5453_5527‐21832‐‐,00.htmlhkp://www.michigan.gov/dhs/ 0,1607,7‐124‐5453_5527‐21832‐‐,00.html– Inks,
N.
(n.d.).
COLUMN:
Michigan’s
former
Bridge
Card
policy
unnecessary
excepGon.
In
Central
Michigan
 Life
.
Retrieved
February
17,
2011,
from
hkp://www.cm‐life.com/2011/02/17/column‐michigans‐former‐ bridge‐card‐policy‐unnecessary‐excepGon/hkp://www.cm‐life.com/2011/02/17/column‐michigans‐former‐ bridge‐card‐policy‐unnecessary‐excepGon/– Luke, Peter. " Most Michigan college students will be ineligible for Bridge Card food assistance | MLive.com." MichiganLocal News, Breaking News, Sports & Weather - MLive.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2011. <http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/ 2011/02/most_michigan_college_students– Supplemental
NutriGon
Assistance
Program
(n.d.).
In
United
States
Department
of
Agriculture:
Food
and
 Nutri?on
Service
.
Retrieved
April
30,
2009,
from
hkp://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/rules/LegislaGon/about.htm
    • 27. References Cont..State
of
Michigan
Department
of
Human
Services.
(n.d.).
Assistance
Applica?on
Informa?on
Booklet.
Retrieved
(April
19,2011)
 hkp://www.michigan.gov/documents/dhs/DHS_InformaGon_Boo
klet_and_Assistance_ApplicaGon_242170_7.pdf State
of
Michigan

Department
of
Human
Services.
(n.d.).
FAP
Eligibility
Requirements.
Retrieved
(April
19,
2011)
hkp:// www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,1607,7‐124‐5453_5527‐13176‐‐,00.html
 State
of
Michigan
Department
of
Human
Services.
(n.d.).

FAP
Work
Requirements.

Retrieved
(April
19,
2011)
hkp:// www.michigan.gov/dhs/0,1607,7‐124‐5453_5527‐13180‐‐,00.html Witbeck,
C.
(2011
,
February
24).
New
Rules
May
Decrease
Number
of
Students
Receiving
Benefits
.
In
The
North
Wind.
 Retrieved April
19,
2011,
from
http://www.thenorthwindonline.com/?p=3860275