Thousands of children affected by the Flint water crisis will receive additional financial assistance for nutritional foods that can limit the effects of lead exposure, The Oroville Mercury Register reports.
But some families who moved away from the city recently due to the water crisis won’t be eligible.
Roughly 15,000 children who qualify for food assistance will receive about $7 million in aid—or a one-time payment of $420 per child to be used throughout the year.
The funding serves as an addition to the $30 per child families received in March. In 2014, the city switched to untreated Flint water as its source for drinking in an effort to save money while under state management. But the move resulted in lead from the pipes being leaked into the water supply.
The city returned to Detroit’s water system the following year.
In order to qualify for the extra assistance, residents must have lived in a ZIP code identified as being served by the city’s water system on Feb. 28 and still live there as of April 1.
Families who left, regardless of whether their children suffer from health effects of the poisoning, won’t be eligible. Among the ineligible children is 4-year-old Sincere Smith, the poster child of the crisis.
“If I had moved to another state, I could understand being treated differently and everything, but moving just 15 minutes away, I feel like … it’s kind of unfair,” said his mother, Ariana Hawk. “I’m still within Genesee County.”
Hawk said Sincere developed rough patches on his legs, face and arms after Flint switched its drinking water source three years ago. She believes all children impacted by the crisis should receive assistance, even if their families moved away from the city or qualify for food-assistance benefits.
According to officials with the Department of Health and Human Services, the funding comes from federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grants.