MARQUETTE — The Michigan Department of Education announced 29 additional recipients for 10 cents per meal for Michigan Children and Farms, after reopening the matching grants program for a second application window.
10 Cents a Meal, Michigan’s state-funded institution farm grant, provides matching incentive funding of up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve locally grown fruits, vegetables and legumes Michigan.
The grant went from a regional pilot program in 2016 to being available to applicants statewide for the 2020-21 school year. The state’s latest $5 million investment “affirms the importance of 10 cents a meal in providing fresh and healthy local fruits, vegetables and dried beans to children in Michigan”, organizers said.
“One of the accomplishments I’m most proud of during my legislative tenure is growing 10 cents a meal, especially here in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. This program is critically important to providing fresh Michigan fruits and vegetables to our students and we now have a total of 257 beneficiaries across the state. I am thrilled to see Cheboygan Area Schools, Harbor Springs School District, Inland Lakes Schools and Brimley Area Schools join as recipients of 10 cents per meal,” Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, said in a statement.
The grant is currently in its second year of statewide availability, and there are now 257 recipients for the 2021-22 school year, representing more than 585,000 children. Compared to last year’s 143 recipients, the program has seen an almost 80% increase in the number of grant recipients in a single year.
10 Cents a Meal is open to school districts – public, public or private school academies – and non-school sponsors of USDA child nutrition programs such as participating residential child care facilities, day care centers and after-school programs. to the Summer Food Service Program, National School Meals Program and Child and Adult Food Program.
“It is 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 foods,” Nathan Medina, policy specialist at the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, said in a statement.
Groundwork is a key MDE partner in the 10 Cents a Meal program.
The 29 new grantees include 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, visit the 10 Cents a Meal website at www.tencentsmichigan.org.