The new fiscal year begins Wednesday here in Michigan and for the federal government. It’s the first day that low-income households can apply for home heating assistance funds.
For years, Michigan participated in the so-called “Heat and Eat” program, which provided an automatic energy assistance payment for people enrolled in the SNAP program, popularly known as food stamps. But the 2014 farm bill signed last February right here in East Lansing cut federal funding for food stamps. Now, the state of Michigan has opted NOT to pay an additional fee to allow some energy assistance recipients to qualify for food stamps. That decision is expected to affect as many as 170,000 households in Michigan.
Current State talks about the potential impact of those cuts in mid-Michigan with Joan Jackson Johnson, who directs the city of Lansing’s Human Relations and Community Services Department.