April 16, 2024 3:48 pm

Local News

Michigan students get a boost to summer food access

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Michigan is planning ahead to make sure kids from lower-income families have enough to eat this
summer.

The state has opted into a federal food assistance program known as Summer EBT, which supplies a little extra grocery money during the long summer break. In Michigan, the most recent data from the nonprofit Feeding America show one in eight children is food-insecure.

Diane Golzynski, deputy superintendent of finance and operations for the Michigan Department of Education, said the $40 per summer month for qualifying children will go a long way toward helping families in need.

“What we’re really excited about is we see us being able to serve almost 900,000 children across the state of Michigan,” Golzynski emphasized.

Families can apply for Summer EBT through their school district. In Michigan, 33.8% of households receiving SNAP benefits have children, and those who already receive SNAP benefits from the state can still apply for the supplemental funds.

Golzynski pointed out Michigan has two other programs to help supply meals to students over the summer, which are not income based. The Summer Food Service Program is also known as Meet Up and Eat Up and people can call 211 to find out more about it. She said a second program allows families in rural districts to pick up 7 days worth of meals, once a week.

She stressed the department is really out to support children in an effort to make Michigan a top 10 state in Education.

“If children go to a local YMCA or a Local Boys and Girls Club that participates in the Summer food program, they could get two meals while they’re at that site,” Golzynski noted. “Last summer we started a new program called the Rural Non-Congregate Program.”

According to Feeding America, inadequate nutrition can have a profound negative effect on a child’s physical, mental and behavioral health and development and may cause them trouble focusing and learning in school. The Summer EBT program is expected to benefit about 21 million children in 35 states.

This article is republished from the Public News Service under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.