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    The Food Assistance Program (FAP) is designed to supplement the food purchasing power of low-income people and families. This program is the newest reform to the Food Stamp Act of 1977. The program is funded completely by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. State and Federal governments help fund administrative costs. The Michigan Department of Human Services determines the eligibility of Michigan residence. To be eligible for FAP a person must be a United States citizen or if a person is not a citizen their alien status must be evaluated. There are many factors that establish a person as a low-income resident. .

    A low-income person or family is deterrmined by the size of the household. A household is considered, all the people that are living and preparing food together. Any spouses and children under 22 years of age are considered to be in the same household, even if they are not purchasing and preparing food together. The gross income of  the household as well as certain expenses of that household are also taken into consideration when determining the need for food assistance.

    The following income is considered countable income and is considered when applying for food assistance. Social security, retirement, disability, and veterans benefits are included. Also the gross income of children under 18 who are not in school at least part time, as well as any income before taxes or withholdings for adults are included. Unemployment insurance and child support or alimony is also considered income.

    Allowable expenses are the expenses in the household that are considered when applying for FAP. These expenses would include any rent or payment for shelter, including additional bills for a shelter such as heat, water, and electric. Child support payments as well as expenses for the care of dependant children or incapacitated adults. Medical expenses are also allowed. 

    Food included in the FAP includes any food for consumption by humans. This also includes, seeds and plants to grow food with. The only exception to this is the products of tobacco, alcohol, and food that is made for immediate consumption.

    The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved the eligibility of some prepared meals from certain organization such as restaurants that serve low cost meals. To be eligible a person must be 60 years or older or blind, disabled and are receiving SSI, or homeless. Prepared meals are also allowed within a community dinning facility, such as a homeless or abuse shelter and they are also allowed if an organization is a public or private non-profit, such as meals on wheels, and is preparing and delivering the food to people 60 years or older or disabled.

    Food purshase is restricted to recognized grocery stores, house to house grocery vendors, and private non-profits associations who put their money together to purchase food. All places must and will be FNS approved.

    If you are in need of food assistance contact, The Department of Human Services

    Sources and Related Content:

    The Department of Human Services

    The Michigan Food Stamp Partnership

    United State Department of Agriculture

    GovBenifits.gov 

    National Center for Children in Poverty

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