LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - An evaluation of Michigan's 83 counties found over the past 16 months that the state had a 38 percent increase in people experiencing food insecurity and for children that number rose 63 percent.
"No one should have to worry about putting food on the table ever - but especially during a pandemic," said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS.
And so Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill to allocate $2.2 billion in federal Covid relief funding.
The allocations are:
- $1.5 billion going to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or snap.
- A 15 percent increase in monthly food assistance benefits through the end of September.
- More than $378 million for renters to stay in their homes and pay their utilities.
Another major allocation is more than $322 million going directly to counties and cities, so they too, can help households, small businesses, and nonprofits - plus help to bring back tourism, travel, and hospitality industries.
Another portion will go to boosting pay for essential workers.
"They stepped up for their community, so we need to make sure we support them," said Gov. Whitmer.
More than $65 million being used for emergency and disaster response and mitigation services - the people who experienced damage from historic flooding in and around Midland, which forced thousands to evacuate, and destroyed homes and businesses.
About $21 million is expected to be used to generate investment capital from lenders, through the Venture Michigan Fund.