Meet the team

10 Cents a Meal is implemented by the Michigan Department of Education. To assist with the implementation of the program MDE partners with the following organizations. Below you can learn more about each organization's roles and key contacts. 

Michigan Department of Education; Program Implementation

Wendy Crowley - [email protected]

Wendy is the Farm to Program Consultant at Michigan Department of Education (MDE). Her background includes hotel and restaurant operations and Small Business Development Centers support. At MDE, she has supported claims and systems development for all of Michigan’s child nutrition programs.

She is the lead contact for grantees for help with applications, invoice submission, reimbursement payments, and general information on 10 Cents a Meal operations.

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities; Communications and Outreach Partner

Groundwork leads communications for the program including managing this website, social media, press releases, storytelling, hosting 10 Cents a Meal Network meetings, and outreach with grantees and stakeholders.

Diane Conners - [email protected] 

Diane is Senior Policy Specialist at Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, with more than 20 years of experience in building local food economies. She coordinated Groundwork’s Taste the Local Difference local food marketing program in its initial stages (which now is a separate mission-driven business available statewide); initiated its Farms, Food & Health programming; and launched farm to school efforts in northwest lower Michigan in 2004. Diane coordinated the northwest Michigan 10 Cents a Meal pilot that was the model for the statewide 10 Cents a Meal program. She is a journalist by background, and is here to tell your stories and write about related policy issues.

Nathan Medina - [email protected]

Nathan Medina is a Policy Specialist on 10 Cents a Meal with Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, where he’s worked since 2020. Nathan is a Michigan State University alumnus, having graduated in 2007. Following graduation, he worked in the Michigan legislature, serving in various positions over the course of a decade and covering Ag and Natural Resources policy. While serving as legislative staff, he worked extensively in constituent service, policy analysis and media relations. He can assist you in finding resources, navigating state departments and connecting with the right people with each other in order to advance relationships in communities throughout the state. Nathan is an avid gardener and lives in Lansing with his wife and family.

Melanie Wong - [email protected]

Melanie is a Registered Dietitian and the Farm to Early Care and Education (ECE) Specialist at Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. Melanie has a background in sustainable agriculture and food systems and has previously worked with child care providers on the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) for one of the largest CACFP sponsors where she managed nutrition communications and training. She is the lead contact for any ECE grantees or prospective grantees who have questions or need assistance with 10 Cents a Meal, can assist with any general inquiries about the program, nutrition education related questions, and general grantee support.  

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems; Evaluation Partner  

The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) is the evaluation partner for 10 Cents a Meal. CRFS staff gather and analyze data to understand the program’s effectiveness and how it can be improved. They communicate about how 10 Cents works and its impacts through reports, presentations, and trainings.

Colleen Matts - [email protected] 

Colleen is the Director, Farm to Institution Programs at MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Colleen works throughout Michigan to help cultivate local food purchasing programs at institutions, including schools, by linking programs and partners, developing and sharing resources, and providing technical assistance and policy support. She coordinates the Michigan Farm to Institution Network. Colleen got her start in food systems through studies on how agriculture, food, environment, and communities interact and has a culinary arts degree. She leads evaluation of the 10 Cents a Meal program and can assist with local food sourcing.

Megan McManus - [email protected] 

Megan is the Farm to Institution Fellow at MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Megan has a background in urban food systems and sustainable agriculture and has worked with beginning specialty crop farmers through a training program that helped them reach wholesale markets. She coordinates and is the lead contact for 10 Cents evaluation activities, including surveys. Megan can also assist with local food sourcing questions and connections.

Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development; Agriculture Partner 

Lori Yelton - [email protected] 

Lori is a Nutrition Food Management Consultant with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Lori has been with the department for ten years and functions as the department’s specialist for statewide agriculture programs.  She is responsible for supporting Farm to Early Childcare Education and Farm to School efforts with an emphasis on fresh, safe locally sourced foods for snacks and meals. She helps facilitate projects that enable students, farmers-processors, and school food service staff to learn about local agriculture, procurement, nutrition, and food safety. She can assist with any general questions about the program, nutrition education, and food safety.