Michigan reinstates work requirements for food assistance

By Jonathan Jackson

FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) -- Many people on food assistance will soon have to work to eat. The state is tightening the rules for assistance for certain able-bodied adults.

Starting Oct. 1, the state will reinstate federal work requirements on food assistance, for able-bodied adults.

This comes after an improvement in the unemployment rate, led the government to require those ages 18 to 49 with no dependents to have to complete at least 20 hours of work per week.

“Means more food into the community, more food processed in our warehouse, that we can put out into the community,” said Keri Brack, a volunteer coordinator for the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan.

Brack said this will affect business tremendously, especially for those looking for work.

Even volunteering at the food bank can meet the requirements for that mandatory 20 hours for food assistance.

“I also run, two other similar, very similar programs that they require community service hours to get the assistance that they need,” Brack said.

Brack said even those looking to start volunteer work on or after Oct. 1 will be able to apply in order to keep their food assistance benefits.

“They can do that the same day they want to start, it takes about 10 to 15 minutes,” Brack said. “I sit down and go through it with them, help them fill it out if they have issues and we can get them started that day.”

People on assistance will have three months to find a job before they lose their benefits.

The clock starts ticking once they attend their annual eligibility meeting after Oct. 1.

Carrie Widenmier



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