The Michigan Department of Education has announced that it is accepting applications for 10 Cents A Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms. This state-funded program matches what schools, early care and education settings, and other non-school sponsors spend on Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans with grants of up to 10 cents per meal. It is designed to improve daily nutrition and eating habits for Michigan children and invest in Michigan’s agriculture and local food business economy.
The program is available statewide and open to schools and districts (public, public school academies, or private), and non-school sponsors of USDA Child Nutrition Programs such as child care sites and community organizations participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), or Summer Food Service Program (SFSP).
The program received its largest state investment yet— $9.3 million— for the 2022-23 program year, continuing Michigan’s reputation for investing in the health of its children and supporting the state’s food and agriculture sector. 10 Cents a Meal grants offer food program managers a financial incentive to purchase and serve fresh and minimally processed Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans. This investment helps offset the cost of Michigan-grown food and supports the development of stronger local and regional food systems.
“I love the 10 Cents a Meal program. The investments we make in nutrition for Michigan's children certainly pay off—we see marked improvement in kids' academic, social, and emotional outcomes when they're given access to healthy foods during their critical years of development. But this program also pays off economically for our state, supporting Michigan agriculture and the hard-working farming families who grow our food." said Sen. Winnie Brinks (MI-29).
In addition to the funding increase, program improvements for this year include streamlined reporting requirements for grantees and the addition of Michigan-grown food purchased for supportive educational and promotional activities as eligible for grant funds. Previous grantees who are re-applying to participate will also notice a streamlined application. These collective changes were designed to make the program easier to access and use by food program staff, who dedicate their time to nourishing Michigan’s children.
The 10 Cents a Meal grant application will be available in the Next Generation Grant Application and Cash Management System (NexSys) application system until April 4th. While the program is a competitive grant, the historic investment in this program year implies strong opportunity for funding for all eligible entities with complete and valid applications. All eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.
Applicants are expected to describe their strategies for procuring, preparing, and promoting Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans as well as the related promotional and educational activities they plan to use. Additional requirements for applying include completing a short, online introductory training about the program.
For more information about the application and to access resources, please visit the application information page on the tencentsmichigan.org website. Directions on how to access and complete the application in the NexSys system can be found here.
Wendy Crowley, Michigan Department of Education, [email protected]
Megan McManus, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, [email protected]
Melanie Wong, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, [email protected]
Amanda Brezzell, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, [email protected]
Lori Yelton, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, [email protected]