Child Hunger in Michigan

In southeast Michigan, more than 300,000 children receive free or reduced-price meals in school.

According to Kids Count in Michigan, 2016:

  • More than 46% of school-aged children are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch. To be eligible for reduced-priced lunches, kids must live at 185 percent of poverty, or about $44,000 a year for a family of four. To receive free lunches, kids must live at 130 percent of poverty, or about $31,000 for a family of four.
  • Out of the Michigan children who receive free or reduced-price school lunch, 42 percent live in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, or Wayne County.
  • Nearly one in four Michigan children (22.6%) live in poverty, with household incomes under $24,000 for a family of four. 
  • More than one third (34%) of Detroit's children live in extreme poverty, or less than $12,000 for a family of four.

According to Children’s Defense Fund (2014):

  • Only 13 percent of Michigan children receiving a free and reduced-price lunch during the school year participated in the Summer Food Service Program – ranking Michigan 30th of 50 states in ensuring that children have adequate summer nutrition.
  • Nearly 39,000 Michigan public school students were homeless in 2012-2013.


Child Hunger In America

  • 45.9 percent of SNAP participants are children. (USDA)
  • 3 out of 4 of America’s teachers report regularly seeing students who come to school hungry because they aren’t getting enough food at home. (No Kid Hungry)
  • 16.2 million kids in America live in households without consistent access to adequate food. (USDA)
  • More than 20 million children rely on free or reduced-fee lunches for their nutritional needs on an average school day. (USDA)
  • 6 out of 7 low-income kids who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch do not get a free meal during the summer (Food Research and Action Center)

Find more facts on child hunger in America at


The Devastating Impacts of Child Hunger

Developmental Impact
According to Feeding America:

  • Undernourished children are more likely to get sick, recover from illness more slowly and require hospitalization more often.
  • Children who are good insecure may be at higher risk for chronic health conditions, such as anemia and asthma.
  • Food insecure children may be at greater risk of truancy and school tardiness
  • When they are in school, children who are food insecure may expeirence increases in an array of behavior problems including: fighting, hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, mood swings and bullying.


Educational Impact
According to the American Psychological Association (2013):

  • Hungry children age's six to 12 are more likely to receive special education services, to repeat a grade in school and to receive mental health counseling.
  • Hungry children are more likely to get in fights, have trouble with a teacher, and not listen to rules. 
  • Hungry children have higher levels of behavioral, emotional and academic problems.


Economic Impact
According to the Center for American Progress, the annual cost of hunger or food insecurity includes:

  • $130.5 billion: Spent on illness costs linked to hunger and food insecurity
  • $17.8 billion: Value of charitable contributions to address hunger and food insecurity
  • $19.2 billion: Monetary impact of poor educational outcomes and lower lifetime earnings associated with childhood hunger

Read the full report at


Other partners in our work:

Feeding America

As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, Feeding America network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, through a network of more than 200 member food banks.

Food Bank Council of Michigan

The Food Bank Council of Michigan (FBCM) is a statewide organization that gathers food and funds to help stock Michigan's food banks.

Matching Partners

Underwriting Partner & Match Donor

Charter One Foundation

Match Partners

Ford Motor Company

Andiamo Resturant Group


American Specialty Oils

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