Support families, workers and communities impacted by COVID-19

Contact your legislators and tell them to include supports for Michigan families and nonprofits in any future COVID-19 response actions they consider.


The COVID-19 crisis has impacted the health and well-being of people and communities throughout southeastern Michigan. Nonprofit organizations, local businesses and government agencies quickly mobilized to support workers and families during this unprecedented time. But the need is great and will continue to grow, and our traditional support systems are already struggling to keep up with demand. That’s why we are asking Congress to provide much needed support for Michigan families, communities and service organizations in any future COVID-19 response actions they consider. Please join us in urging Congress to expand support for essential services and nonprofits, expand food access, increase funding for 2-1-1 and increase financial stability for households in Michigan.

Support and Expand Food Access

With thousands of Michiganders suddenly unemployed due to this crisis, people throughout our community are struggling to make ends meet. At United Way for Southeastern Michigan, we work to ensure that all households are financially stable and can put food on their table. In addition, children throughout our region who depend on free and reduced school meals must still have access to food throughout the school week.

We are asking Congress to:

  • Increase the maximum SNAP benefit by 15%.
  • Provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for food service workers and other staff.
  • Enlist the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate meal distribution for schools during the course of the pandemic, increasing the schools’ ability to distribute directly to households.
  • Extend the Pandemic-EBT through the summer and permit additional sites to distribute to Pandemic-EBT holders to help low-income families access food.

Increase Funding to 2-1-1

2-1-1 connects Michiganders to the vital health and economic services they need during a crisis. With so many households relying on 2-1-1 to help them access the resources they need to get by, we are asking Congress to provide an emergency appropriation of $150 million to support 2-1-1 call centers throughout the country.

Support Nonprofits

Nonprofits provide support and stability during times of hardship. During the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits throughout our region have supplied households with food and shelter, have helped them access government supports and assistance programs, have provided tax assistance and legal advice, and are continuing to serve the community despite the dangers that poses to their employees. Yet nonprofits will soon see a drop in donations caused by the current economy, and this will come at a time when our communities need us the most.

We are asking Congress to:

  • Expand and make permanent the new nonitemizer charitable deduction.
  • Allocate additional funding for charities in the Paycheck Protection Program.

Increase Financial Stability

As people find themselves out of work for extended periods of time, more and more households will struggle to meet all of their family’s needs. The financial strain of this pandemic also means that more people are relying on unemployment insurance than ever before.

To help lift these families up, we are asking Congress to:

  • Put more money into the economy by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit for working individuals and families.
  • Provide an additional $12 million emergency appropriation for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program to help low- and moderate-income families file their taxes and receive these the benefits they are entitled to.
  • Provide temporary economic relief for workers and employers by making additional investments in unemployment insurance.
  • Create millions of jobs and train workers to respond to the pandemic by investing in job training and skill-building in an infrastructure package.

Allow states to use COVID-19 relief dollars to backfill lost revenue

The economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis has devastated tax revenue, especially in a hard-hit state like Michigan. Our state is expecting a budget shortfall of $1-3 billion in 2020. Forcing the state to make cuts of this magnitude would seriously harm the essential services people are counting on now more than ever. Join us in urging Congress to allow states to use the COVID-19 relief funds already allocated to offset lost revenues in order to avoid massive cuts to food supports, health services unemployment and education.

Click here to contact Congress and urge them to support these essential measures.

Editor’s note: The photo at the top of this page was taken by Shelby Gansler of Shelby Tyler Co.