A first-of-its-kind program has launched in Flint, Michigan and it's getting national attention for good reason.

Introducing Flint Rx Kids

We spoke with creators Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Pediatrician with MSU and Hurley Children's Hospital and Luke Shaefer, Professor of Public Policy and Director of Poverty Solutions at University of Michigan about prescribing cash to help eliminate infant poverty.

Flint's childhood poverty rate is 69%. Hence the reason they've worked to create this program.

Credit: RxKids
Credit: RxKids

It's a prescription for health, hope and opportunity. We are hoping to prescribe that through universal and unconditional cash allowances to every pregnant mom and every baby in Flint. -- Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Pediatrician at Hurley Children's Hospital

The program provides a cash payment of $1,500 during the pregnancy to City of Flint moms. Then, $500 each month during the first year of the City of Flint child's life.

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There is no restriction to how allowances can be spent or saved.

Michael A. Naddeo
Michael A. Naddeo

If a family decides to pay for diapers, formula, childcare, or put it toward rent, mortgage, groceries, utilities or bills -- it's entirely up to them.

How is Flint Rx Kids funded?

The program is funded with philanthropic dollars from several donors and partners including:

  • C.S. Mott Foundation
  • Ruth Mott Foundation
  • MSU & Hurley Children's Hospital Public Health Initiative
  • Give Directly
  • University of Michigan Poverty Solutions
  • Greater Flint Health Coalition

The money Rx Kids receives from each Mott Foundation is based on matching donations. Over $40 million has been raised, so far. Including some funding from the City of Flint and State of Michigan.

They hope to keep the program going for, at least, five years.

How do you apply for Flint Rx Kids?

This program is open to all Flint families expecting a child or birthing a child in 2024.

Applying is simple. Expecting moms must show:

  • proof of identity
  • proof of residency in the City of Flint
  • proof they're 20+ weeks pregnant or guardianship.

Once documentation gathered, applicants can apply online (here). Remember, you must be a resident of the City of Flint.

When all information is verified, payments will begin.

Public Celebration Event

Valentine's Day 2024 is the official launch party.

Dr. Mona notes, program's funds are not used for the free party. Sponsors and partners have donated everything.

  • During the day: Events at Flint Children's Museum (and info about Rx Kids)
  • Launch Bash at FIM Capitol Theater, that evening, will include a concert, performers, dignitaries and more--all free, but you do need to get tickets at the Capitol Theater Box Office.

See Also: Michael's to Open Third Genesee County Location

Dr. Hanna-Attisha and Professor Luke Shaefer tell us there is great interest from towns all around Michigan, both rural communities and cities.

The program is already getting noticed around the country, too. Their goal is to spread the love all around the U.S. for kids.

For more information on Flint Rx Kids, click here.

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