Fourteen school districts in northwest Lower Michigan are among 32 statewide that have extra funding this school year to purchase locally grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans. That’s thanks to a second year of the state’s 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms pilot grant program. Together the districts serve 22,567 students in our region.
Thanks to the Michigan Legislature, schools in 29 counties of Michigan have just been notified of an opportunity to tap into state funds to show the difference a dime can make in their efforts to serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans to students. Michigan legislators expanded the popular 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program from $250,000 in general funds last year to $375,000 for the upcoming school year; and added a third, six-county region in Washtenaw in southeast Michigan.
The Michigan Legislature is considering whether to continue, or expand, the impactful 10 Cents a Meal state pilot project that is increasing business from schools for a significant number of farms and related food companies throughout Michigan. A state Senate subcommittee has included continued funding, but the House, so far, has not. Visit www.TenCentsMichigan.org to learn how to contact your local legislator.
The popular 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms incentive procurement pilot program is providing schools with up to 10 cents per meal in match funding to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes to an estimated 48,000 students in 16 grant-winning school districts. Lawmakers are encouraged to expand the program, as schools are serving a greater variety of fruits and vegetables and that is exactly what Michigan farmers grow.
Farmers in our region’s fields and orchards this summer are growing a variety of fruits and vegetables destined for the plates of children in seven school districts participating in the “10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms” pilot project.
A bipartisan group of state representatives has introduced four bills, known as the Energy Freedom package that would allow Michiganders to invest more in solar, wind, or methane-powered generation; reap a better return; and share credit for the electricity they produce. Different combinations of 12 Democrats and five Republicans are sponsoring different parts of the package, marking a shift in the Michigan Legislature.