Michigan School Districts Will Purchase More Local Food Through 10 Cents a Meal Grants

10/25/2017

Photo by MSU Center for Regional Food Systems (view larger image)

Photo by MSU Center for Regional Food Systems

By: Rachel Kelly, Center for Regional Food Systems

 

In an October 19th press release, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced the new school district recipients of the 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids and Farms grant awards. The full MDE press release can be viewed on tencentsmichigan.org.

The 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids and Farms program is a pilot project that provides schools with matching incentive funds of up to 10 cents per meal to source and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans.

One of the main outcomes of 10 Cents program is agricultural economic development—the program generated business for 86 Michigan farms across 28 Michigan counties as of December 2016. Another major success was improved children’s nutrition. For example, children in the 10 Cents schools were served 49 different types of Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans between September and December 2016.

Legislators expanded the 10 Cents program for the 2017-2018 school year, increasing the budget from $250,000 to $375,000 and adding an additional eligible region. Schools in 29 counties in Michigan Prosperity Regions 2 (Northwest), 4 (West) and 9 (Southeast) were eligible to apply.

In the MDE press release, State Superintendent Brian Whiston says, “This program is a true win-win because it provides fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables to schoolchildren, while investing in state agriculture.”  

State Senator Goeff Hansen, who chairs the Appropriation Committee’s K-12, School Aid, Education Subcommittee, says, “It is my expectation that we will eclipse the successful results of the past year and strengthen student knowledge, preference, selection, and consumption of healthy, locally-grown food.”

Below is a shortened list of this year’s 10 Cents a Meal grant recipients by Prosperity Region. For a full list, see the MDE press release.

Prosperity Region 2 (Northwest Lower Michigan):

• 14 grant-winning districts in seven counties in a 10-county region

• 22,567 students

• Counties are: Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Leelanau, Manistee, Wexford

Prosperity Region 4 (West Michigan):

• 11 grant-winning school districts in seven counties in a 13-county region

• 28,956 students

• Counties are: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kent, Muskegon, Oceana, Ottawa

Prosperity Region 9 (Sountheast Michigan):

• Seven grant-winning school districts in four counties of a six-county region

• 43,370 students

• Counties are: Hillsdale, Jackson, Monroe, Washtenaw

 

For news stories on the 10 Cents grant recipients, see additional links below: 

Holland, Saugatuck schools receive local produce grants” (Holland Sentinel)

Bedford, Monroe schools get grants to buy local produce” (Bedford Now)

Washtenaw, Jackson schools to serve more local foods thanks to state grants” (mlive)

 

Successes of the program thus far are detailed in the “10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms 2016-2017 Legislative Report.”

To follow the 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program, find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TenCentsMichigan/.