News from Progress Michigan

May 8, 2014

Contact: Hugh Madden, (734)

Over $1.2 Billion of Michigan Food Assistance Goes to Working Families

Department of Human Services responds to Progress Michigan FOIA request 

MICHIGAN — The amount of food assistance that went to Michigan citizens reporting earned income in 2013 was $1,244,060,939 according to numbers disclosed to Progress Michigan by the Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) as part of a recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. In addition, DHS reported that over $37 million in cash assistance went to citizens reporting earned income.

“People that are working should earn a living wage and not have to rely on food assistance to survive,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Michigan taxpayers should not be forced to subsidize large corporations that can and should pay their workers enough to live without needing government assistance.”

A recent report showed that Wal-Mart is the beneficiary of $6.2 billion in subsidies mainly due to the fact that employees of the retail giant earn so little that they are forced to rely on public food assistance. The report stated that Michigan spends $137.2 million per year subsidizing low wages at Wal-Mart.

“Raising the minimum wage will allow working families to end their reliance on food assistance and will ensure that those who work hard and play by the rules earn a living wage,” Scott continued. “Our tax dollars should go towards fixing our roads and restoring funding to classrooms – not subsidizing the profits of corporations that pay low wages.”


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