Feds send money to feed hungry children this summer
By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
LANSING, MI (WNEM) -
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has once again awarded a grant to the State of Michigan to address hunger issues experienced by low-income children in the state during the summertime.
"We need to use every means possible to ensure that kids don't go hungry when they aren't in school," said State School Superintendent Mike Flanagan. "Finding the best ways to keep our kids healthy, fed and secure will lead to smarter and more productive students in our classrooms."
Michigan expects to have more than $800,000 in federal funds to continue the Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children demonstration project, which began in the summer of 2011. This year's grant will allow the 10,600 students who received food benefits during the 2012 summer to continue to receive a food package valued at $60 per month for June, July and August.
The grant will be administered by a collaborative partnership between the Michigan Department of Education and the Michigan Department of Community Health - Women, Infants, and Children division. This summer food benefit will help low-income families supplement their food budgets when school breakfast and school lunch meals are not readily available.
The $60 and the $30 monthly food package per student per month will be delivered to families by an electronic benefit transfer card system existing through the State of Michigan WIC program.
This pilot project will benefit children in the Grand Rapids Public School District, Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District, Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District, Midland County Educational Service Agency and the Tuscola Intermediate School District areas.
In addition, another 28,000 low-income students will be randomly selected to receive either the $60 per month food package or a $30 per month food package. These additional children will be from the following areas:
Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District
Clare-Gladwin Regional Education Service District
Midland County Educational Service Agency
Tuscola Intermediate School District
"Low-income children are at a heightened risk for food insecurity in the summer months, when schools are closed and many low-income children find it difficult to get the healthy nutrition they need," USDA Under Secretary Kevin Concannon said. "These projects offer a wonderful opportunity to build on the success of the Summer Food Service Program and explore new ways to combat childhood hunger."
The demonstration projects will be studied and evaluated by USDA, providing critical information about the impact of these projects in the fight against hunger among our students during the summer months.
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