How SNAP Helps this Michigan Family Access Healthy Food

Max Gage (left) and Catherine Gage at their StoryCorps recording on June 27, 2018 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Max Gage’s father needed emergency surgery. He had been ill and was unable to work.

It was then that his family turned to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which has helped Max’s mother, Catherine Gage, continue to support their family of eight.  

“It’s been huge to actually see firsthand what food does to us and our health, to see how it can turn your life around.” – Catherine Gage

With several food allergies throughout the family, Catherine wanted to make sure they had access to food that would enable them to live a healthy life. She shares how SNAP makes that possible and how programs like Double Up Food Bucks help their SNAP benefits go even further in accessing fresh fruits and vegetables from local farms.

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This story was recorded and produced by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world, with funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Originally posted on September 19, 2018.

Michigan Fast Facts


In Michigan, 15% of residents participate in SNAP.

More State Data


In Michigan, 18% of children are food insecure.


In Michigan, 15.1% of the overall population is food insecure.

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