Report: More Michigan Kids Qualify For Food Aid - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Report: More Michigan Kids Qualify For Food Aid

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - A report by a private foundation says the percentage of young Michigan children qualifying for federal food assistance has jumped in recent years.

The annual Kids Count in Michigan project says more than one in three qualified for nutritional help in 2012--that's up 53 percent from 2005.

"We've take away unemployment benefits. We've limited them. We have not seen an increase in minimum wage. And we have reduced earned income tax credit in the state. So the kinds of things that we could be doing to help parents, we're in fact going in the opposite direction," said Jane Zehnder with the Michigan League for Public Policy.

The study documented a 34 percent rise in child poverty between 2005 and 2011, while the number of children in families investigated for possible abuse and neglect last year was highest in 22 years.

The report also showed some improvement between 2008 and 2012 in schools. Fourth grade reading scores improved 20 percent, eighth grade math scores increased 1 percent and high school reading improved 8 percent.

Among recommendations in the report are boosting the earned income tax credit, the minimum wage and the child care subsidy.

Report: Kids Count 2013

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