FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2023
$9.3 Million available for 10 Cents a Meal Farm-to-School Grants: Application Now Open for 2023-24 Program Year
The Michigan Department of Education has announced that it is accepting applications for the 10 Cents A Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms Program. 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).
In our last budget cycle, the program was allocated $9.3 million for the 2023-24 program year. This is the second year in a row where the program has received such an allocation from the state, continuing Michigan’s reputation for investing in the health and wellbeing of its children while supporting the state’s food and agriculture sector.
“As we continue to expand the program with more grantees from school districts, early care and education centers, and community service agencies, this program year has the potential to be the most impactful year of the 10 Cents a Meal Program. We are making great progress fostering communication between grantees and food vendors to make it easier to source produce from Michigan farms. We are doing more in-person outreach to grantees, farmers, and other food businesses across Michigan to provide education and technical assistance around local purchasing in child nutrition programs.” said MDE Farm to Program Consultant, Cheyenne Liberti.
10 Cents a Meal grants offer food program managers a financial incentive to purchase and serve fresh, minimally processed Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans. As the program has grown, data and feedback collected from grantees has highlighted the many challenges food program managers and food staff can potentially run into when preparing meals for hundreds of children every day. With this, the implementation team has adjusted aspects of the program to streamline the process, making it easier than ever for food program managers to apply and participate.
The 2023-24 program year also welcomes the Michigan School Meals program and the opportunities that now exist for Michgian’s children. “We also have the incredible opportunity for the first time this year to see the complementary benefits that Michigan School Meals and the 10 Cents a Meal Program can offer together. Michigan School Meals provides better meal access by ensuring that families don’t have to pay for their children to eat breakfast and lunch in participating public schools. 10 Cents a Meal provides better meal quality by ensuring that the most delicious, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and beans are served to kids in schools. Pairing the two programs together ensures that we use school food service dollars for the greatest benefit of Michigan's children and farmers.” - Cheyenne Liberti
The 10 Cents a Meal grant application will be available in the Next Generation Grant Application and Cash Management System (NexSys) application system until October 30, 2023. While the program is a competitive grant, the investment in this program year implies a strong opportunity for funding for all eligible entities with complete and valid applications. All eligible applicants are encouraged to apply.
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 tencentsmichigan.org website.
Wendy Crowley, Michigan Department of Education, [email protected]
Cheyenne Liberti, 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]