The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has announced 15 additional 10 Cents a Meal grant recipients—schools and early childhood education centers—for the 2020-21 grant cycle. The application process reopened in January after an initial round of grantees were announced in December 2020, bringing the total number of schools and preschools receiving funds to 149, hailing from across the state.
10 Cents A Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms (10 Cents a Meal) is a state-funded program providing schools and early childhood education centers (ECEs) with matching incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
“Providing healthy meals for children and supporting our state’s growers is a win-win for Michigan,” said State Superintendent Dr. Michael Rice. “The 10 Cents a Meal program helps meet a Top 10 state strategic education goal of improving the health safety, and wellness of learners. I want to thank the legislature and governor for expanding the program to benefit many more communities across our state.”
The Fiscal Year 2021 state budget, approved by the Michigan Legislature and signed into law by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, increased funding from $575,000 to $2 million for the 10 Cents a Meal Program, which allows the program to expand statewide and include early childhood centers as eligible for the grant funding. This action supported schools and ECE's for 2020-21, and affirms the importance of 10 Cents a Meal in providing local fruits, vegetables, and dry beans for Michigan’s schoolchildren.
“Since its inception, I have been an avid supporter of the 10 Cents a Meal program,” said State Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City). “I have supported investments in the program during every budget cycle and I passionately believe it is a crucial tool that helps ensure students can focus on their education while also receiving a healthy and balanced diet of Michigan-grown products. I will continue supporting the program and hope to see it grow to reach more schools.”
As a matching fund grant for school districts and early childhood centers, 10 Cents a Meal essentially doubles the state’s investment in Michigan agriculture because schools match the grant dollars with existing school lunch funds, including federal dollars.
In addition to improving daily nutrition and eating habits of children through the school and ECE setting, the program is also an investment in Michigan’s agricultural economy and keeps our dollars circulating locally.
To learn more, please visit www.tencentsmichigan.org.
For the complete list of 2020-21 award grantees, visit https://www.tencentsmichigan.org/about
For the Michigan Department of Education press release on the first round of 10 Cents a Meal grantees, please click here.
Diane Golzynski, Michigan Department of Education, [email protected]
Nathan Medina, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, [email protected]