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About 90,000 Michigan Students Impacted By COVID School Disruptions To Receive Food Assistance Benefits

(CBS DETROIT) -- Students whose access to free or reduced-price lunches was affected by the pandemic are expected to receive food assistance benefits, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

MDHHS announced Wednesday that the state received federal approval for a third round of Pandemic-EBT benefits, which will go to the students who "qualified for the lunches, attended an in-person school, and in-person learning is or was not available at their school for either a full or partial month."

About 90,000 students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade are eligible for the assistance.

Each student will receive $7.10 for each day the school is virtual or the student is absent due to COVID-19.

"I am proud of all that our team at MDHHS has done to provide easy access to food to our families during the pandemic," MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in a statement. "While we are in the recovery stage of the pandemic, children and families still have great needs due to COVID-19. We are here to address those needs."

Health officials say payments will be paid automatically. Families who already receive food assistance will receive the Pandemic-EBT benefits on their Bridge Cards. Those who do not already receive assistance will receive the Pandemic-EBT benefits in the mail that they can use to purchase food.

Payments began last week, with benefits being issued for September 2021 through December 2021. Payments will be issued later this month for January and February, in June for March and April and in July for May and June.

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