If you are looking for the 2013 government shutdown details, those answers are at:

*** my 2011 post ***

I know my federal government shutdown pieces are picking up a lot of national readers. Please be aware that I am a Michigan newspaper reporter and blogger, and Monroe on a Budget is aimed at the southeast Michigan audience.

That being said, here’s what I’ve found out about the federal government shutdown and food stamps, also known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. My Michigan readers generally refer to the food stamp program as Michigan Bridge Card, since that is how the benefits usually are distributed in this state.

While I’m not finding anything official on this topic at Michigan.gov, it appears that, for the time being, food stamp benefits will continue as usual even if there is a federal government shutdown. That’s an important detail for my local readers because Michigan League for Human Services is reporting that for 4Q 2010, food assistance went to 13.6 percent of all Monroe County, Mich., residents. The equivalent statewide figure is 19.2 percent.

The headlines and links I’ve found include:

New York TimesFederal departments lay out plans

Since the government makes the money available to states by the beginning of each month, advocates for food stamp recipients predicted no immediate impact on benefits. “They should be O.K. for the month of April,” said Stacy Dean, a food stamp expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Federal Eye at Washington PostGovernment agency shutdown details

… funds have been made available to continue the Women, Infants and Children and Child Nutrition programs through June, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has sufficient funding to allow benefits to continue through May.

Michigan readers: do remember that the Michigan Bridge Card food stamp dates are shifting all throughout 2011 and a lot of college students were dropped from eligibility this month (April).

Do you know what stores you can use your Bridge Card at? I built a grocery database for Monroe County, Mich., that includes that detail along with coupon policies and discount programs for the area stores. I also have a lot of posts in my archives about WIC and Michigan Bridge Card.



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