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State to Block Most College Students from Food Stamps


(Lansing, MI) -- College students in Michigan have been taking advantage of the rules allowing them to qualify for food assistance with the Bridge Card for several years, but that's apparently coming to an end. 

The state Department of Human Services changed the rules yesterday for college students, saying that come April, they won't be able to get the card unless they can show a "true need," such as caring for young children. With over five million dollars in food stamp fraud uncovered in 2009, state lawmakers are looking to put restrictions in place that will prevent additional fraud.

Republicans in the state Legislature had tried to crack down on the abuse during Governor Granholm's tenure, but were not able to get any bills through. Legislation had been introduced by Holland Republican Joe Haveman in the House to do what the DHS announced yesterday.

Food stamp abuse makes up about one-third of welfare fraud perpetuated in the state, following daycare and child care reimbursement.