10 Cents a Meal Funding of $9.3 Million Secured for FY ‘24


July 20, 2023

10 Cents a Meal Funding of $9.3 Million Secured for FY ‘24

After weeks of negotiations, the Michigan Legislature passed the state budget prior to its July 1 deadline. The FY ‘24 budget totals $81.7 billion, which includes a general fund total of $15.2 billion and a historic investment into public education with the School Aid Fund total of $19.4 billion. The 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms program is funded within this year’s bipartisan education budget, and will receive $9.3 million for the program in FY ‘24. Since Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed the budget, this outline in funding is expected to take effect on October 1, 2023.

10 Cents a Meal is Michigan’s local food investment program that provides schools, early care and  education centers, and other organizations participating in USDA Child Nutrition programs with match incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans. The program is implemented by the Michigan Department of Education and has the goals of improving daily nutrition and eating habits for Michigan’s children and investing in Michigan agriculture and related local food business economy.

The funding for 10 Cents a Meal will complement the new Michigan School Meals state reimbursement program, funded at $160 million, that will provide breakfast and lunch at no cost to students attending public schools that participate. Together these programs will work with USDA Child Nutrition Programs to provide Michigan children with nutritious meals while attending school, with 10 Cents a Meal providing funds specifically for the inclusion of Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans in school meals.

“I am proud, as a member of the House Agriculture Committee, to vote to fund this program, which is a win-win for farmers and kids who can add fresh, nutritious food to their plates and School lunches. I am especially proud because this innovative program had its roots in Northern Michigan. With the vision of Diane Conners shepherding this program along and gaining bipartisan support over the years, I was proud to add my vote to the continuing of this program.”  

- State Representative Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City)

The program, which has grown from a $250,000 state pilot in 2016, has seen its budget increase from $2 million in FY ‘21 to $4.5 million in FY ‘22 and $9.3 million for FY ‘23. The stable $9.3 million in funding received for FY ‘24 demonstrates the legislature’s continued commitment to keeping avenues open for children in the state to receive nutrient dense meals at school and early child care education centers. This approval of funding also speaks to the legislature's commitment to creating markets for farmers and the agricultural sector through farm to school initiatives. 

“This year, the Michigan legislature passed a budget that makes strategic investments in programs that prioritize people over special interests,” said State Senator Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing). “We were successful in obtaining $9.3 million dollars for the 10 Cents a Meal Program, which incentivizes our schools to purchase and serve Michigan grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes. This investment not only ensures that our children have access to high-quality food but supports our farmers and brings supply chains home to our state. This investment is a win for Michigan” 

For the 2022-2023 program year there are 240 10 Cents a Meal grantees reaching approximately 590,000 children, spanning all 10 regions of the Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators and 65 of Michigan's 83 counties. Additionally, funding for the FY ‘24 will also support initiatives to reach our state’s youngest eaters. In the 2022-2023 program year 10 Cents a Meal is being piloted in family child care homes with providers who participate in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) with a CACFP sponsor (The Association for Child Development). There are 49 home child care providers participating in the pilot program in 26 different counties serving 488 children. 

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), Seamless Summer Option (SSO), National Breakfast Program (NBP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).

MDE is assisted in the program by Groundwork Center, which conducts stakeholder interviews, communications, and outreach; the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems,  which is the evaluation partner and supports training; and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, which provides expertise on Michigan-grown products.

Find more information about 10 Cents a Meal at tencentsmichigan.org.


Program Contacts:

Wendy Crowley, Michigan Department of Education, [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 Rural Agriculture and Development, [email protected] 

Megan McManus, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, [email protected] 

Colleen Matts, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, [email protected]

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  • Melanie Tran
    published this page in News 2023-07-20 15:22:09 -0400