Michigan could save at least $4 million a year because of changes to the Michigan Bridge Card, a taxpayer-funded food assistance program that some legislators, including State Rep. Joe Haveman (R-Holland), claim college students have been abusing.
“College kids are not the client that was intended for Bridge Cards,” Haveman said. “For a traditional college student coming out of a middle class family, their parents are their support system.”
The current Bridge Card application policy, which will be altered in April, required applicants to provide information about their earned and unearned income and household expenses to the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS). Depending on those factors, DHS can allot a monthly food stipend of up to $200.
About 1.9 million Michigan residents have Bridge Cards, DHS reported. Most beneficiaries are low-income families and the unemployed. But due in part to their jobless status, between 18,000 and 20,000 college students qualified in 2010, according to DHS spokesperson Christina Fecher.