Michigan Could Pioneer Twice-Monthly Food Stamps

Michigan could become the first state to switch to a twice-a-month food-stamp program after the state Senate yesterday passed a bill authorizing the change.

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan could become the first state to switch to a twice-a-month food-stamp program after the state Senate yesterday passed a bill authorizing the change. “This is something we’ve been pushing for for years,” Linda Gobler, president and chief executive officer of the Michigan Grocers Association here told SN. The bill, which was also supported by state locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers, would likely distribute sales more evenly throughout the month, she said. That would facilitate labor scheduling and product ordering, but could also better serve the nutritional needs of recipients by allowing them to spread fresh-food product purchases throughout the month, she explained. The Michigan House could act on the bill soon. Gobler added that although she does not know whether Gov. Jennifer Granholm supports the bill, a committee the governor formed to study nutrition issues also has recommended the change to twice-monthly benefits. The switch to electronic benefits programs in recent years would make the more frequent distribution less financially onerous for the state, Gobler explained.

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