A news service for the people of Michigan from the Mackinac Center for Public Policy

Michigan food stamp receipients

In 2000, Michigan had 580,000 people on food stamps. By 2011, that number had grown to 1.9 million people as nearly 1 in 5 Michigan residents were on the Food Assistance Program.

But after 11 consecutive years of increases, Michigan has seen the number of people on food stamps decrease the past two years, according to the state’s annual reports.

After reaching the high-water mark of 1,928,478 in 2011, the number of people on food stamps dropped to 1,828,384 in 2012 and then to 1,775,646 in 2013.

Don Grimes, an economist for the University of Michigan, said the recent decrease looks to be driven by the improving economy.

"There is a very strong negative correlation (-0.61) between the change in the number of people collecting food stamps and the number of people holding jobs (measured on either the household or establishment basis),” Grimes said. “Food stamp usage grew faster than expected given the growth in employment in 2010 and 2011 when eligibility criteria were loosened."

Bob Wheaton, spokesman for the Michigan Department of Human Services, said the state is reviewing what could be behind the drop in food stamps recipients and would have a response by mid-September.

The Food Assistance Program offers temporary food assistance for eligible low-income families. The state issues Bridge Cards for recipients. 

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See also:

Are Teachers With Master's Degrees Forced To Take Food Stamps?

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Star International Academy is the highest ranked high school in Michigan on the Mackinac Center for Public Policy's Contest and Performance report card for both 2014 and 2012. The study and a database of every school in the state can be found at www.Mackinac.org/CAP.

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