Meeting its July 1st deadline, the legislature held a marathon session last week until the wee hours of the morning on Friday to move important budget bills closer to the finish line in preparation of FY ‘23. Included in the budget was continued funding for 10 Cents a Meal at $9.3 million, more than doubling last year’s appropriation!
The current fiscal year budget for the program is $4.5 million and this increased appropriation of $9.3 million 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.
The program is currently in its second year of statewide availability, and there are now 257 unique grantees for the 2021-22 school year, representing over 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).
State Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), was the lead champion in the legislature for the program, as noted in this senate press release about the overall school aid budget here.
Groundwork Center continues to support the program through outreach and communications, along with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, which provides additional technical support and evaluation. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also assists the program.
The legislature is now on a three-week summer recess after their work on the budget and sending the bills to Gov. Whitmer’s desk. This is an important statewide election year with the executive offices (Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State) and all seats in the House and Senate being up for grabs with new legislative maps as drawn for the first time by the state’s redistricting commission.
Stay tuned for further updates!