Michigan State University receives 1 of 42 grants awarded from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. $500,000 will support Flint Rx Kids, the first citywide cash allowance program in the United States.
The project is estimated to cost $55 million for five birth years of mothers and babies. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation committed a $15 million challenge grant to help catalyze additional support. The grant is a 1:1 match that will unlock after Rx Kids raises an additional $15 million from other funding sources. Recent funders participating in the match include Hurley Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Flint, and individual donors.
Rx Kids is a prenatal and infant cash allowance program led by Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, Associate Dean for Public Health, and C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at MSU College of Human Medicine.
Every year, around 1,000 children are born in Flint into families facing food insecurity and unequal access to healthcare. These first months of life are critical for a baby’s development; it’s also when their families are struggling the most.
“Rx Kids is a promise to our babies that we can do better to preserve and protect their tomorrows,” said Hanna-Attisha. “We know that growing up in poverty messes up the brains of children how it negatively impacts chronic disease, injuries, and life expectancy. Rx Kids is the science-based and prevention-driven answer to treat poverty.”
Funds will be used to advance health equity and address maternal and infant economic instability, piloting an unconditional cash program where care providers “prescribe” cash to the mother of every infant born in Flint – with no strings attached.
Together, we can deliver up to $7,500 to all moms in Flint and provide a brighter future for Flint children. Cash allowances will work as follows:
- Every mom living in Flint will receive $1,500 during their pregnancy to spend on food, prenatal care, rent, or whatever they need most.
- After giving birth, moms will receive $500/month for their baby’s first year to cover formula, diapers, childcare, and everything else.
Depending on funding, the program is expected to launch in 2024 with the goal of continuing the initiative for at least five years.
To learn more about Rx Kids, visit FlintRxKids.com.
June 16, 2023