Last year at this time, the future for Michigan’s 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program was iffy. This year, thankfully, legislators aren’t debating whether or not to continue the popular program, but instead how to expand it.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Michigan (HKHM), a coalition of public and private sector health advocates united to fight childhood obesity, has emerged as an important advocate for the 10 Cents a Meal program. HKHM’s Healthy Food Access Team provides important policy support to inform legislators about how 10 Cents is strengthening Michigan, bolstering both students’ health and farmers’ bottom lines.
A recent overhaul of the federal nutrition rules for schools is meant to provide healthier options for children. But the new requirements-including larger servings of fruits and vegetables that local farmers could grow, less sodium and fat, and more whole grains-have sparked a heated debate nationally and right here in Traverse City.
Would you chip in $1 if it meant 10 schoolchildren could eat locally grown fruits and vegetables at lunch on Monday? How about $10 for 100 kids? That’s about four classes full of children, bursting with energy and ready to learn new things. You can do just that by contributing to a new campaign that starts this fall for a program that could be in place by spring: 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms.
New “10 cents” project advocates for an additional dime to be spent on each student’s meal in local schools.