Boyne Falls school salad bar

Legislators express support for 10 Cents a Meal

April 12, 2021 | |

Above: The cafeteria line at Boyne Falls Public School proves the delicious and healthy potential of 10 Cents a Meal.

We are proud and exceedingly grateful that support for 10 Cents a Meal can transcend differences in political philosophy. Additionally, with grantees from all regions of the state, it is important that we have regionally diverse legislative support behind the program as well. (Read Nathan Medina’s legislative analysis of 10 Cents a Meal allegiance.)

Here are a collection of some of the positive things that lawmakers from both chambers have had to say about 10 Cents a Meal since the announcement of the first-round of 2020-21 grantees:

Upper Peninsula/Northern Michigan

“Adding nutritious options to our children’s school meals is important to their growing minds and bodies. I’m proud of our state for having a program that incentivizes healthy eating, and benefits both our students and hard-working farmers. Programs like this are especially important for children in rural areas like the U.P. who may not have access to a wide variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables to try outside of the school setting. 

Congratulations to our school districts who recognized the importance of the 10 Cents a Meal program, stepped up to the challenge and were awarded the MDE partnership.” 

State Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette)

“The 10 cents a meal program is a valuable partnership between our schools, area farmers and communities. As a farmer myself, I recognize the importance of having local support and as a parent, I also recognize the importance of children eating fresh and healthy foods. The Upper Peninsula is fortunate to have multiple schools receive funding for the program. I look forward to hearing about the positive results.” Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan)

“We’ve seen the success of the program. We know the importance of nutrition for school-age children, and we know the importance of Michigan agriculture. When you can blend the two together, it equals success. We want to continue that. The COVID crisis has highlighted health care needs. Obviously, one of the best ways to deal with any health challenge is good nutrition. It’s fresh fruits and vegetables, and Michigan has a lot of them.” State Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), Chair K-12 and Department of Education Appropriations Subcommittee 

Mid Michigan

“Creating a market for local, small-to-medium scale farms creates a virtuous cycle for our local and regional economy and helps kids learn to enjoy fresh foods that they might not have tried otherwise. That’s win-win.”  State Rep. Amos O’Neal (D-Saginaw)

“Every child, no matter their zip code, deserves access to fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure a healthy development. This is especially true during a global pandemic when nourishing meals can help keep our kids healthy throughout this difficult time. We are so grateful for the Michigan Department of Education’s efforts to bring these resources to schools here in Saginaw County.” Saginaw Co. Clerk Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw)

“Everyone benefits from 10 Cents a Meal and I’m glad to see Flint-area programs apply for and receive funding for the next school year. This program provides opportunities for our dedicated local farmers to do business with schools right down the road, ensuring nutritious meals are available for students throughout the school year. It’s how our kids’ food should be: healthy and locally sourced.” Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint)

“As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud of our state for coming together during a particularly challenging time to increase funding for the 10 Cents a Meal program. Right here in Greater Lansing, we have seen an unprecedented level of need from working families and our students need more support than ever at home. The $113,000 in funds for schools in Ingham County will surely go a long way. The COVID-19 pandemic has also continued to shed light on the racial disparities in health outcomes and nutrition, and the 10 Cents a Meal program will play an important role in closing the equity gap so all children have the resources they need to thrive.” State Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing)

“10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms provides students an opportunity to improve their nutrition while also investing in local agriculture. I was excited to see that the Lansing Public School District, Holt Public Schools, and Lansing Catholic High School were all 10 Cents a Meal grantees for 2020-21. This program benefits the entire community and I look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have in the Greater Lansing area.” 

State Representative Kara Hope (D-Holt)

“It’s great to see that several Ingham County food service programs have applied for and received 10 Cents a Meal grants from the MDE. Lansing Public Schools’ award of $100,000 is tied for the largest in the state and these funds will ensure that area students get access to nutritious, local, fruits and vegetables in the middle of a pandemic and that local growers have a market for their goods.” Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D-East Lansing)

SE Michigan/Detroit

“As many families have turned to rely on our schools for meals and proper nutrition during this pandemic, it’s critical that our students have access to fresh, Michigan-grown produce. Ensuring the health of our students benefits all of Michigan. I’m proud to see Ann Arbor, Dexter, Manchester Community Schools and Whitmore Lake Public Schools among the 10 Cents a Meal grantees, and I look forward to continuing to support our schools and this great program.” House Minority Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township)

“Feeding Detroit’s school children healthy and nutritious food grown right here in Michigan is a win for both our hardworking Michigan farmers and for Detroit Public Schools Community District.  Every child deserves access to the best fresh produce available, so I am so pleased and excited to see the 10 Cents a Meal program will be available here in Detroit.” State Sen. Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit)

“The 10 Cents a Meal program offers a unique opportunity for our students to get highly nutritious produce and learn about the unique agricultural scene throughout our state. Every child deserves access to healthy meals, and I’m proud of the hard work we have done in the Legislature on behalf of funding for this program to ensure that children have access to the delicious and nutritious tools they need to perform at their peak during the school day. I am excited for the program’s continued expansion.” 

State Sen. Adam Hollier (D-Detroit)

Nathan Medina

Nathan Medina is Policy Specialist at Groundwork. [email protected]


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