FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LANSING, MI (Apr 13, 2022) - The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has announced an additional 29 grantees - including Freeland Community Schools - for 10 Cents A Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms, after reopening the matching grant program for a second application window. 10 Cents a Meal, Michigan’s state-funded farm to institution grant provides matching incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
“I was pleased to hear of Freeland Community Schools being chosen as a grantee of the 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan Kids and Farms program for the 2021-2022 school year. This grant of $20,000 will not only benefit our students and children, but also the farmers of our community,” said Senator Ken Horn (R-Frankenmuth), who represents Tittabawassee Township. “Children are learning healthy eating habits while our farmers receive investment into their local economy."
The grant has gone from a regional pilot program in 2016 to finally being available to applicants statewide for the 2020-2021 school year. The latest investment of $4.5 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).
“It’s so encouraging to see this promising trend that Michigan’s youngest children of all income levels, from Detroit to the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, are benefiting from the high nutritional quality of locally grown food,” said Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities Policy Specialist Nathan Medina. Groundwork is a key MDE partner on the 10 Cents a Meal program.
The 29 new grantees include: Freeland Community School District, White Cloud Public Schools, Daily Shepherd Child Care Center, Boys And Girls Club Benton Harbor, Harbor Springs School District, Fremont Public School District, Association For Child Development, Ludington Area School District, Grand Rapids Metropolitan YMCA, Charlotte Public Schools, Dee's Little Angels Child Care Center, Bambi Land Child Care, Bright Beginnings, Newaygo Public School District, Children's Paradise Learning Center, Inc., Orchard Hill Reformed Church, Napoleon Community Schools, Summerfield Schools, Springport Public Schools, Inland Lakes Schools, Cheboygan Area Schools, Capac Community Schools, Kalkaska Public Schools, Brimley Area Schools, Fruitport Community Schools, Child Star Development Center, A & W Day Care Center, Steepletown Neighborhood Services, and Village Of Shiny Stars Child Care.
*Edit 5/2/22: The 10 Cents a Meal budget is $4.5 million, corrected here from the previously published $5 million due to an error in the state’s budget language.
Wendy Crowley, Michigan Department of Education, [email protected]
Nathan Medina, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, [email protected]
Colleen Matts, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, [email protected]