Bridge Card Limitations Set For College Students 2-10-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Bridge Card Limitations Set For College Students 2-10-2011

Michigan college students will no longer be able to take advantage of taxpayer-paid food assistance unless they meet federal guidelines.
Department of Human Services Director Maura Corrigan announced Wednesday students will no longer be able obtain Bridge Card food assistance unless they demonstrate “true need” under a change that will again match state eligibility rules under federal guidelines
"We're ready to extend a helping hand to any citizen who is truly in need - including college students who care for young children and are taking the right steps toward becoming self-sufficient," Corrigan said. "But those who don't meet federal guidelines won't be able to take advantage of what is meant to be a temporary safety net program."

Under federal guidelines, college students do not qualify for food assistance except in very limited circumstances, DHS said in a news release. Previously, the college student status could be a determining factor in the application for a Bridge Card.
The department will start to enforce the new policy in April.
The Food Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, serves almost 1.9 million Michigan residents, including more than 805,000 children.
Rep. David Agema, R-Grandville, is one of the lawmakers who brought attention to the loophole.
"College students who do not really need assistance have been allowed to take advantage for far too long," Agema said. "This action will put a stop to this waste of taxpayer money."
DHS officials said there are an estimated 18,000 to 20,000 single people between the ages of 18 and 25 attending college and receiving food assistance, according to published reports.

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