By Diane Conners
The new school year is underway, and 14 school districts in northwest Michigan have extra funding to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes thanks to the state’s 10 Cents a Meal pilot grant program.
So, now is the time for farms, local food distributors, and others to connect with those grant-winning schools: Alanson, Bear Lake, Benzie County Central, Boyne Falls, East Jordan, Frankfort-Elberta, Glen Lake, Harbor Springs, Kaleva Norman Dickson, Manton, Onekama, Petoskey and Traverse City Area public schools. They have up to 10 cents a meal in matching funds to purchase local produce.
If you have time to help these schools with promotional activities like taking photos of kids eating the great food our farmers grow or surveying them about their knowledge and preferences, that’s another great reason to connect with them.
This expanded state pilot project was inspired by a local 10 Cents a Meal pilot that started right here in northwest Michigan and was coordinated by the Groundwork Center. Now, thanks to funding from the Legislature, it is serving 95,000 students in 32 grant-winning schools in three parts of the state—northwest and west Michigan and the Washtenaw region. Learn more at TenCentsMichigan.org.