Healthy Kids, Thriving Farms

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Michigan's 10 Cents A Meal For School Kids and Farms pilot program is providing schools with match incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown produce to an estimated 95,000 students in 32 grant-winning school districts.

A report from the Michigan Department of Education on the program's 2016-2017 pilot, serving 48,000 students in 16 districts, shows that many school children are being introduced to new fruits and vegetables as a result of this funding, and the program is investing in Michigan’s economy and jobs at the same time.


Superintendent Brian Whiston

“We believe the timing was right for this pilot, and for potential expansion next year, because schools are serving a greater variety of fruits and vegetables and that is exactly what Michigan farmers grow.” - State Superintendent Brian J. Whiston

 Michigan-owned processors and distributors benefit from facilitating farm-to-school sales.


"The school sales have been on a steady incline and then they really spiked this year. Institutional school sales increased by 30% because of 10 Cents a Meal." - Mark Coe, Farm to Freezer

Growers on 20-acre to 1800-acre farms report growing business thanks to 10 Cents a Meal.


"I've had more and more kids drag their parents over to my farmers market booth and request things like parsnips because they tried them in school." -Andrea Romeyn, Providence Farm

Food Service Directors report that the variety of produce served in school meals has increased, and local produce purchasing can be planned with greater certainty thanks to 10 Cents a Meal.


"I've put canned beets on the salad bar, and kids don't like them. But I do a fresh beet with olive oil and vinegar, and the kids love it." -Dave Ruszel, Food Service Director, Leland Public Schools

What People Are Saying

Students, advocates, administrators and growers share their excitement about 10 Cents a Meal For School Kids & Farms.   Continue reading

Economic Benefits

In 2016-2017, 10 Cents bolstered Michigan's local food economy by $420,000. It is also helping to build or strengthen transparent business supply chains that make it easier for schools to choose Michigan-grown products. Continue reading

Improved Access to Local Food

Schools typically have only $1 - $1.20 a meal to spend on food, and of that, about 30 cents is for fruits and vegetables. A matching 10 cents, food service directors say, help them serve more fresh produce instead of canned. It also provides them with the flexibility to try new things to see what their students like. Continue reading

Marketing & Education

10 Cents schools use taste tests, harvest of the month lessons, nutrition education, and school gardens to promote local foods to students and their families. Continue reading