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educate your candidate

Right now, every seat in the Michigan House of Representatives is up for election! 

This is an important time to educate candidates about 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms, the popular and effective state program that helps schools purchase Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables for school meals.

Email your candidates before the November 3rd election to let them know ways we can invest in our future by supporting healthy kids and thriving farms. We made it easy for you- just click here.


You made a difference for Michigan's children and farms

2021 Budget: Breaking News! The governor signed the 2021 budget on September 30th, which includes $2 million for 10 Cents a Meal. Grant funding will be available to schools statewide, including sponsors of early childhood centers. Click here to learn more, and check out the grant application guide.

Advocacy: Thank you for taking action!!! Nearly 200 organizations, and more than 600 individuals, representing every single county in Michigan signed a letter to legislators and Governor Whitmer seeking funding for 10 Cents a Meal in the 2021 budget. Support came from statewide health, farm, and policy organizations as well as parents, grandparents, farmers, dietitians, and schools from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula. The letter was delivered to legislative leaders and the governor on September 1st. Click here to read the full letter and see who signed.

“The program provides a huge bang for our buck at a time when every penny counts. Our policymakers have to stretch severely limited resources to meet unprecedented health, educational and economic needs right now, and 10 Cents a Meal serves all three purposes for the low cost of one dime for every meal served to a Michigan child.”

--Michigan League for Public Policy, which makes the case for expansion statewide in the 2021 budget. Read more here.

2020 Budget - Restored Funding:  Together, we sent more than 350 emails to legislative leaders and the governor, to request restored funding for this essential school food program. The legislature recently passed a supplemental budget bill for 2019-2020, which maintained funding levels for eligible grantees in select pilot regions. This funding preserved the infrastructure of this important program and provided critical support to schools in their heroic efforts over the past year to feed Michigan's children in schools, and then in homes when the pandemic hit.
"My goal, first and foremost, was to keep it alive. We got that accomplished. As the old adage says: 'Live to fight another day.' And that is what we are going to do." -Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, key legislative champion for 10 Cents a Meal.
Read more of Sen. Schmidt's comments in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Find more advocacy resources below


Let legislators and Governor Gretchen Whitmer know that funding for 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms must finally be funded this year in a supplemental School Aid Budget and also next year. 10 Cents addresses critical needs in the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Share this handout with your legislator, or use it to find facts and quotes to share with your legislator.

Educate Policymakers and Candidates

Legislators love it when they learn about 10 Cents, but the program is an easily missed line item in the 31j section of the School Aid Budget. Make sure legislators are educated about 10 Cents a Meal! And make sure candidates in Michigan’s upcoming House race are educated too!

Develop Relationships with Policymakers

Get to know policymakers, and let them get to know you. You can educate them about 10 Cents year-round. Then, when it’s time to advocate, they will already know you.

  • Check out your legislator’s web page to find the times and dates for coffee hours that they hold in your district. Put those coffee hours on your calendar!
  • Legislators and candidates are holding Virtual Town Halls. Follow their social media pages to learn more, and participate!
  • When you can meet legislators in person, set up appointments through their staff. They are happy to help.
  • Help your school plan a "legislator to lunch" event. The School Nutrition Association of Michigan has a toolkit here.
  • Thank your legislators!
  • Find your senator here, and your state representative here.

Advocate With Policymakers
Take your action beyond educating policymakers. At key times of the year, it’s time to make an ask for a specific amount of funding.

  • Sample 10 Cents Resolution
  • 10 Cents a Meal Highlights and Ask. Download this​ overview handout
  • Check out our other tips above in Take Action, Educate Policymakers, and Develop Relationships with Policymakers. 

Sign on as a Supporter

Join the schools, farms, parents, educators, businesses, health and economy advocates, and other citizens who endorse Michigan’s innovative 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms program. Those who have signed up as supporters or provided statements of support include the School Nutrition Association of Michigan, the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Michigan League for Public Policy, Healthy Kids Healthy Michigan, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Farmers Union, Michigan Vegetable Council, Michigan Food and Farming Systems, Detroit Food Policy Council, Crim Fitness Foundation in Flint, and school districts ranging from those in the Detroit region to the state’s Upper Peninsula.

  • Add your name to the list of people and organizations that embrace investing in local food for kids in schools as a positive part of Michigan’s identity. 
  • If you want, you can also be alerted to opportunities for advocacy.

Share With Others

Help us build awareness around the state!

Support Schools

For the 10 Cents policy to be successful, schools must be successful. 

  • Help schools seize the opportunity
  • You can help schools understand how to be strong applicants and grantees. A good start is the Grant Application Guide at the Tools for Schools tab of
  • Support schools in success: Successful grantees engage children so they are excited about trying new foods. Examples include taste tests in the cafeteria or classroom and fun facts about food for the eyes or brain. Food service staff and educators alike would welcome your help. More ideas are at the Build Your Farm to School Program page of Tools for Schools.

Learn More

  • Learn lots more and find school and community resources, success stories, hand-outs, and legislative reports here
  • 10 Cents Website Navigation
  • You can also sign up for the 10 Cents e-newsletter here.


see 10 Cents in the News

​MLive Story: Schools Want Governor to Restore Funding Cut to Fruits and Veggies Program.