5 things to know about Flint Rx Kids
Rx Kids launch press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2024, at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. From left to right: Mama Sol, Ridgway White, Luke Shaefer, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, a Flint mom, Alana Turner, Mona Hanna-Attisha, Teresa Woodruff, Sheldon Neeley, a Flint mom, Day Austin, and Jim Ananich. (Courtesy of Governor Whitmer’s office)
Contact: Karissa Knapp, firstname.lastname@example.org
Flint, MI – Today City of Flint pregnant moms and newborns can start enrolling in Rx Kids, the first citywide maternal and infant cash prescription program in the nation. Joined by Mayor Sheldon Neeley, Michigan State University Interim President Teresa Woodruff, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation President Ridgway White, and Rx Kids families and newborns, Governor Gretchen Whitmer kicked off the historic launch at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint.
“This will give every new mom in Flint the freedom and flexibility to raise their babies without worrying about how to pay their bills and put food on the table … I do believe that this is… the kind of investment that you can see return on over the course of a lifetime. I believe this particular investment is one that others will seek to emulate when they see the difference it can make,” said Whitmer.
Rx Kids is led by partners Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, associate dean for public health and C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at MSU College of Human Medicine, and Luke Shaefer, director of Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan and the Hermann and Amalie Kohn Professor of Social Justice and Social Policy. Rx Kids will help families make ends meet and provide a solid start for their child.
Here are five things to know about the Flint Rx Kids program:
1. What is Flint Rx Kids?
Rx Kids is a program that “prescribes” cash payments to every expectant mother and infant in the city of Flint, Michigan, with the goal of improving infant and maternal health, the economic and mental well-being of participants, and community-wide outcomes.
2. Who is eligible, and what will they receive?
City of Flint residents who are at least 20 weeks pregnant or who have a baby born in 2024 can apply to receive these no-strings-attached monthly payments. Applications are processed on a rolling basis, and participants will receive a $1,500 payment during pregnancy and $500 per month during the infant’s first year. There are no income requirements. Documents applicants will need to provide include: proof of identity, proof of residency, and proof of being 20+ weeks pregnant or guardianship. Learn more and apply online at FlintRxKids.com.
3. What does the research say about the impact of unconditional cash assistance?
Hundreds of studies show that unconditional cash transfers can be life-changing across countries and contexts. Mothers and babies are no different, and early intervention is shown to have sustained health and development impacts years after cash is delivered. Multiple studies have found positive impacts of cash on pre and post natal health, including: birth weight, premature births, breastfeeding, parental mental health, and food security. New research also shows that $333 monthly cash transfers to families with low incomes boosted infants’ early cognitive development. Furthermore, these impacts can last into adulthood. Years after their moms received cash transfers, adult children experienced benefits across health, education, nutrition, lifetime earnings, and reduced anxiety and depression.
— University of Michigan Poverty Solutions (@UmichPoverty) January 10, 2024
4. Where is the money coming from?
Thanks to our incredible funders, Flint Rx Kids has raised over $43 million as a public-private partnership. This includes an $15 million challenge grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, a $1 million allocation from the Flint City Council’s American Rescue Plan Act funds, and $16.5 million from the State of Michigan’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant (TANF), among other donors. The hope is to have the program run as long as possible; current funding commitments will enable the program for at least three years. A $55 million total investment is needed to fund five years of Rx Kids. Please visit the Rx Kids website for more information on funding and how you can help.
5. How do I stay in the loop about Flint Rx Kids?
Check out the news page on the Flint Rx Kids website for the latest stories. You can follow Flint Rx Kids on Facebook and Instagram. Finally, save the date for the “The All We Need is Love” Rx Kids Launch Bash on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre, in Flint. More details to come!
For questions about Rx Kids, please visit their FAQ page and/or email email@example.com.