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, released in 2015:

  • More than 48% 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.
  • One in four Michigan children (24%) live in poverty, with household incomes under $24,000 for a family of four. 
  • More than one third 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 11.8 percent of Michigan children receiving a free and reduced-price lunch during the school year participated in the Summer Food Service Program – ranking Michigan 20th of 50 states in ensuring that children have adequate summer nutrition.
  • More than 43,000 Michigan public school students were homeless in 2011-2012, 80 percent more than before the recession.


Child Hunger In America

  • 47 percent of SNAP participants are under the age of 18. (USDA)
  • 62 percent 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 million kids in America live in households without consistent access to adequate food. (USDA)
  • 21 million children rely on free or reduced-fee lunches for their nutritional needs on an average school day. (USDA)
  • 32 percent of pantries, 42 percent of soup kitchen and 18 percent of shelters report “many more children in the summer” being served by their programs. (Feeding America)

Find more facts on child hunger in America at


The Devastating Impacts of Child Hunger

Developmental Impact
According to Feeding America (2009):

  • Undernourished children are more likely to get sick, recover from illness more slowly and require hospitalization more often.
  • Hungry children experience more headaches, stomach aches, colds, ear infections and fatigue.
  • Children who go hungry are more susceptible to obesity and its harmful consequences.

Read the full report at

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

  • Undernourished children are less likely to learn as much, as fast or as well as adequately nourished children
  • Lack of nutrition can impair a child’s ability to concentrate and perform well in school
  • Hungry children have higher levels of behavioral, emotional and academic problems
  • Underfed children less likely to graduate from high school and go on to college


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

Additional Support