LANSING — The Michigan Department of Education recently announced an additional 29 grantees for “10 Cents A Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms,” after reopening the matching grant program for a second application window.
Ten Cents a Meal, Michigan’s state-funded farm to grant institution, provides matching incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
The grant has gone from a regional pilot program in 2016 to finally being available to applicants statewide for the 2020-2021 school year. The latest investment of $5 million dollars from the state affirms the importance of 10 cents a meal in providing fresh, healthy, local fruits, vegetables, and dry beans for Michigan’s children.
“One of my proudest accomplishments during my legislative tenure is the growth of 10 cents a meal, especially here in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. This program is critically important in getting fresh Michigan fruits and vegetables to our students and we now have a total of 257 grantees across the state. I am thrilled to see Cheboygan Area Schools, Harbor Springs School District, Inland Lakes Schools, and Brimley Area Schools join as 10 cents a meal grantees,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R) of Traverse City .
The grant is currently in its second year of statewide availability, and there are now 257 unique grantees for the 2021-22 school year, representing more than 585,000 children.
Compared to last year’s 143 grantees, the program has seen a nearly 80% increase in grant recipients in a single year.
10 Cents a Meal is open to school districts (public, public school academies, or private), and non-school sponsors of USDA Child Nutrition Programs such as residential childcare institutions (RCCIs), child care centers and after school programs participating in the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
“It’s so encouraging to see this promising trend that Michigan’s youngest children of all income levels, from Detroit to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, are benefiting from the high nutritional quality of locally grown food,” said Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities Policy specialist Nathan Medina.
Groundwork is a key Michigan Department of Education partner on the 10 Cents a Meal program.
The 29 new grantees include the following: Freeland Community School District, White Cloud Public Schools, Daily Shepherd Child Care Center, Boys And Girls Club Benton Harbor, Harbor Springs School District, Fremont Public School District, Association For Child Development, Ludington Area School District , Grand Rapids Metropolitan YMCA, Charlotte Public Schools, Dee’s Little Angels Child Care Center, Bambi Land Child Care, Bright Beginnings, Newaygo Public School District, Children’s Paradise Learning Center, Inc., Orchard Hill Reformed Church, Napoleon Community Schools, Summerfield Schools, Springport Public Schools, Inland Lakes Schools, Cheboygan Area Schools, Capac Community Schools, Kalkaska Public Schools, Brimley Area Schools, Fruitport Community Schools, Child Star Development Center, A & W Day Care Center, Steepletown Neighborhood Services, and Village Of Shiny Stars Child care
For more information about the program, please visit the 10 Cents a Meal website at www.tencentsmichigan.org.