Combine Bridge Card benefits and nutrition education to maximize your food dollars
Consider adding nutrition education from MSU Extension to learn to maximize your monthly food assistance dollars, making healthy low-cost meals a daily reality.
August 3, 2012 - Author: Diane Rellinger, Michigan State University Extension
Many limited income Michigan households rely on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, also called Bridge Card, EBT or Food Stamps, to purchase the bulk of their monthly food. However just receiving SNAP benefits does not mean food assistance recipients automatically understand how to effectively use their nutrition benefits for an adequate diet. Nutrition is not just about buying food to eat. People often have poor dietary habits, and lack basic nutrition understanding. Sadly, even hunger and food insecurity are issues for SNAP households.
A critical key to successfully using the SNAP benefits/Bridge Card is pairing it with education. Michigan State University (MSU) Extension has partnered for years with Michigan Department of Human Services (MDHS) to provide SNAP Education (SNAP-Ed), a free nutrition education program to reduce hunger, food insecurity and promote healthy eating habits.
Each week across the state of Michigan, MSU Extension’s SNAP-Ed nutrition instructors teach youth, teens, adults and seniors how to make health a priority. The goal of the SNAP Education program is to increase the likelihood that people eligible for SNAP benefits will establish healthy eating habits and be more physically active, while staying within their limited food budget. Being on a tight food budget should not dictate that cheap heavily-processed, low-nutrition foods must be the bulk of one’s weekly diet. An adequate diet equates with a healthy diet, one that provides the calories, vitamins and minerals essential for each person.
It only takes a phone call to start the process of enrolling in SNAP Education nutrition series. Learn how to adopt a healthier lifestyle and maximize your SNAP benefits to provide delicious healthy low-cost food for you and your family. Contact your local SNAP-Education program to see when classes are meeting near you. Follow this link to locate your county’s MSU Extension office or click on the word “Counties” at the top right of this website. Get started today to empower yourself with knowledge. Don’t let a tight food budget stress you out any longer.
If hunger or food insecurity is a concern, find out if you are eligible for food assistance dollars by contacting SNAP benefits for Michigan residents. The Michigan Bridge website is also very helpful for food assistance information. Lastly the Center for Civil Justice offers a toll-free Helpline at 800-481-4989 for callers to find out if they are eligible for food assistance and receive an estimate of their benefits. The Helpline staff can answer questions about food programs and the SNAP benefits process.