5 Upper Peninsula applicants awarded state grant

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UPPER PENINSULA, Mich. (WJMN) — The Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities is proud to announce that the Michigan Department of Education has chosen its ’10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms’ grantees for 2020-2021, which includes several grantees in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. 

10 Cents A Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms is a state-funded program providing schools and early childhood education centers with match incentive funding up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes.

The Michigan legislature and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer increased funding from $575,000 to $2 million for 10 Cents a Meal in the 2021 budget. Initially a pilot program launched in 2016, 10 Cents has been expanded so that it is available to schools statewide for the first time ever. Additionally, the program has been expanded to include early childhood centers as also eligible for the grant funding.

“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,” said Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan).

“The Upper Peninsula is fortunate to have multiple schools receive funding for the program. I look forward to hearing about the positive results.”

Grantees include:

  • Gwinn Area Public Schools ($1000)
  • Hancock Public Schools ($3000)
  • Houghton-Portage Township School District ($2000)
  • Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan Head Start ($5000)
  • Stanton Township Public Schools ($3000).

In this time of greater food insecurity due to the pandemic, food service programs are playing an essential role in delivering healthy, nutritious meals to Michigan’s children. The 10 Cents a Meal program amplifies local purchasing power while also providing a market for small-to-medium scale growers.

“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,” said State. Rep. Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette).

“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.”

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