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Flint children to receive food aid to limit lead exposure

May 15, 2017

Thousands of children in Flint are presumed to receive additional money for nutritional foods that can limit lead exposure effects.

The Detroit Free Press reports the $7 million in food aid is going to about 15,000 kids who qualify for food assistance. Qualifying families will receive a one-time payment of $420 per child. That money is expected to be used throughout the year and is in addition to the $30 per child families got in March.

The money will automatically be added to the Bridge cards of qualifying families. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recommends that the money be spent on foods high in calcium, iron, and vitamin C, although it can be used on anything that qualifies under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) .

To qualify, residents must have lived in a Flint ZIP code identified as being served by the city of Flint water system on Feb. 28, and still live in an eligible ZIP code April 1.

Families who left the city because of the water to escape the lead won't be eligible even if their children suffer health effects from the water crisis. Even those that moved outside of Flint city limits, but still live in Genesee county, will not receive the benefit.

More from the Free Press report:

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services determined eligibility based on how they felt was the best way to allocate the limited money, spokesman Bob Wheaton said.

“We decided that we wanted to focus on providing this nutritional food to people who are still living in Flint,” he said.

The MDHHS has not announced when specifically the money will be made available to eligible families, although it is expected sometime this month.