The Michigan Bridge Card system, which allows users to to buy food, use cash assistance benefits, and purchase WIC items will down for a portion of time this weekend.

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According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bridge Card users won't be able to use their cards from approximately 11 p.m. Saturday, October 16 to 11 a.m. Sunday, October 17.

MDHHS says that the system is undergoing an upgrade "that will provide easier access to benefits".

Bridge card holders will be able to use the same cards beginning again at 11 a.m. on Sunday.

Lew Roubal, MDHHS Senior Deputy Director for Opportunity, said,

These system changes will improve access to food and cash assistance because clients now will be able to use a mobile app that was not previously available. We apologize for any inconvenience and chose a timeframe with low Bridge Card activity to make this transition.

Upgrades to the Bridge Card System involve a switch to Fidelity Information Systems (FIS), a Florida-based technology services company, which will be the new Electronic Benefit Transfer provider for MDHHS.

MDHHS says the system needs to be shut down during the transition from the previous vendor. A prior attempted system switch in August created technical issues that caused delays; MDHHS expects a smooth transition this coming weekend.

Bridge Card holders will continue to use and call the toll-free number on the back of their card.

MDHHS also announced recently that Michigan families who are eligible for food assistance benefits are receiving an additional monthly payment this month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic:

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