Gov. Gretchen Whitmer approved an extra food assistance payment to help Michigan families in response to the pandemic as the holiday season is in full swing.\u00a0 Roughly 1.27 million Michiganders, close to 700,000 households, will see additional food assistance benefits on their Bridge Card from Dec. 18-27, according to a press release from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday. The benefits will be loaded onto Bridge cards without any extra paperwork as a separate payment from the assistance that is provided earlier in the month. "As we enter the holiday season and face rising costs, we have to ensure that everyone has enough money to put food on the table and pay the bills," Whitmer said in the release. "By delivering additional financial relief to lower grocery bills for families, we can keep more money in people\u2019s pockets and help them enjoy time with loved ones over the holidays." Some Michiganders began receiving additional food assistance in April 2020 after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic that started the month before. In May 2021, all eligible households began getting extra monthly benefits, but, federal approval is necessary every month. All households eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program receive an increase of at least $95 monthly, even if they are already receiving the maximum payment or are close to that amount. Households that received over $95 to bring them to the maximum payment for their group size will continue to receive that larger amount, according to the release. Below are the maximum allowable benefits for SNAP customers based on their respective household sizes: One Person: $250 Two Persons: $459 Three Persons: $658 Four Persons: $835 Five Persons: $992 Six Persons: $1,190 Seven Persons: $1,316 Eight Persons: $1,504 Additionally, the federal government is providing additional funding to states for food assistance under House Resolution 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Eligible families do not need to re-apply to receive the additional benefits, according to the release. People who receive food assistance can check the balance of their benefits on their Michigan Bridge Card by going online here or calling a consumer service representative toll-free at 888-678-8914. They can ask questions about the additional benefits by calling or emailing their caseworker.