Blog Archive

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Invitation: 10 Cents a Meal Network Launch at Michigan Good Food Summit

Greetings all,

Wouldn't it be great if investing in local food for kids in schools became a part of Michigan's identity?

We at Groundwork Center are launching a 10 Cents a Meal Network to better connect those of us who would like to see this happen, and who want to take part in spreading the word about 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms so that it grows. That could mean educating a policymaker or sharing information in ways that support schools in our own communities. Let's use all of our voices.

And let's get to know each other face-to-face during lunch at the Michigan Good Food Summit on Monday, October 22. We will have at least two tables reserved for us at the Good Food Summit. Please click on this link and let us know if you can join us. 

(There's also a place on the link to check if you won't be joining us for lunch but would like to be a part of the network—which will include some conference calls open to all, as you are able.)

I find that conference calls are so much better if we've first met in person.  And the Summit is a place where so many of us will be. Please do rsvp!

All best,

This year is a pivotal year for 10 Cents because a majority of the seats in the legislature will likely be filled by new senators and representatives because of term limits. It is a prime opportunity to educate candidates and future legislators. Our key legislative champions are term-limited, but support of 10 Cents continues to receive bipartisan support (see this press release from the Michigan Department of Education.) 


*Please note my email address has changed to

Diane Conners  |  Senior Policy Specialist
Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

P   231-499-3937

T   @grndwk

A  148 E Front St, Suite 301  |  Traverse City, MI 49684 

Friday, October 12, 2018

REGISTER for Around the Table. Wednesday, November 7th, 4:00 p.m., NCMC Iron Horse Cafe, Petoskey.

Around the Table

"Setting the Table: Preparing for the Future of Local Food"


Wednesday, November 7th,
4:00 - 8:00 p.m.
North Central Michigan College
Iron Horse Cafe

1515 Howard Street
Petoskey, MI 49770

For more information: 231-881-2784

It's time to talk ...

What are the needs and what we can accomplish together to enhance local food and farming in our community?
Five years ago the Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation convened a community meeting concerning their Good Food Initiative. At that meeting community members provided valuable input on immediate and long-term priorities for local food and farming activities.
At "Setting the Table" we will revisit the good work done at that meeting. Our objectives will be to celebrate the successes of the past five years, gather community input to identify new priorities, and set goals for advancing locally grown food in our region.
The event will include a Certified Local Food Event meal for all participants.

Local Food Dinner provided by Iron Horse Café, the Grain Train Natural Food Markets,and Crooked Tree Breadworks


Register for Around the Table!

Vote for your "Local Food Hero" for 2018

The polls close on October 24th  

Sponsors of Around the Table include:
Local Food Alliance, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, Taste the Local Difference, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Grain Train Natural Foods Markets, Crosshatch Center for Art and Ecology, the USDA Risk Management Agency, MSU Extension, North Central Michigan College, Health Dept of NW Michigan, Friendship Centers of Emmet County, Crooked Tree Breadworks, 1Senior Homecare

--   Larry Dyer  231-881-2784

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Michigan Department of Education Press Release - "10 Cents a Meal Program Now Serving Nearly 135K Michigan Students"

Greetings all,

In continuing to celebrate National Farm to School Month this October, please see a press release below and attached from Michigan Department of Education about the expansion of the 10 Cents a Meal Program for the 2018-2019 school year!




Colleen Matts

Farm to Institution Specialist | Core Partner, National Farm to School Network

Center for Regional Food Systems | Michigan State University

480 Wilson Rd | Rm 302B Natural Resources Building | East Lansing, MI 48824

(p) 517.432.0310 |



From: Martin Ackley <> 
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 10:28 AM
Subject: Michigan Department of Education Press Release




MDE Logo     News Release



Contact:    Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs, 517-241-4395

                  Bill DiSessa, Spokesperson, 517-335-6649


10 Cents a Meal Program

Now Serving Nearly 135K Michigan Students


October 10, 2018


LANSING – Michigan's nationally-recognized 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms program has expanded for a third year, now serving nearly 135,000 students in 57 school districts and 27 counties, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today.


Providing grant-winning schools up to 10 cents a meal in matching funds to purchase locally-grown fruits and vegetables, the successful farm-to-school cafeteria program has more than doubled the number of children served since 2016.


"The 10 Cents a Meal program is akin to a bumper crop in terms of nutritious, locally-produced fruits and vegetables served to students," Interim State Superintendent Sheila Alles said. "It's a win-win partnership for local districts and local farms across the state and another example of how the business and education communities, as with our plan to become a Top 10 education state in 10 years, can collaborate toward common goals to the ultimate benefit of our children."



School Year

Students Served



















*State pilot program


"The commitment of the people who are a part of this program has been extraordinary," said Sen. Goeff Hansen, R-Hart, referring to participating schools and agri-businesses. Sen. Hansen chairs the state Senate K–12, School Aid, Education Appropriations Subcommittee, which introduced the initial funding for the program.


"They really want to get local food into local schools to help the farmer and help children understand where their food comes from, and use it as a teaching tool," he said. "I am excited that the program has blossomed so much in its third year."


Each year, state legislators have expanded the program's reach and funding. Last year, schools in Michigan's Prosperity Regions 2, 4, and 9 (northwest and west Michigan, and the Washtenaw region) were eligible to apply for the grants. This year, the legislature added Regions 6 and 8 – the Thumb region and southwest Michigan. That expansion meant that school districts in 43 of Michigan's 83 counties are eligible to apply for 10 Cents a Meal funding.


"We have so many dedicated community farmers all over this area, and they devote their livelihood to making people healthier," said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint. "The 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms furthers our progress in supporting local growers and helps children in our community be healthier."


Flint Community Schools in Region 6 is among the 55 school districts participating in the program this year. Below is a complete school list.


Health officials are among those praising the 10 Cents a Meal program.


"This program provides increased exposure to healthy, local fruits and vegetables for many children in our service region," said Grant Fletcher, system director for Healthy Living & Sustainability at Bronson Healthcare Group, with hospitals in Battle Creek and Kalamazoo in Prosperity Region 8. "We are excited to work closely with our community partners in the public school systems and at Kalamazoo Valley Community College to ensure it has the greatest possible impact."


In 2017–2018, students tried 65 new Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables for the first time as part of the program. One food service director reported in a survey by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems that, "Students' plates are becoming very veggie-friendly. We have gotten students to try vegetables just because they are from around [here]."


The program also has impacted the state's economy and agricultural sector, with schools purchasing a total of 80 products grown by 112 farms spanning 34 counties, and providing business for 19 additional businesses such as processors, distributors, and food hubs.


Said Kevin Robson, Michigan Farm Bureau Horticulture and Industry Relations Specialist: "Michigan Farm Bureau applauds the efforts of all the hard-working members of the project team behind the success of the 10 Cents a Meal program.


"We support the future endeavors of the program and encourage the project team to continue to build on their success and enhance the effectiveness of the program, to remain a paramount program example for other states to follow," Robson added.


The 10 Cents a Meal program was featured at two national conferences this year: The National Farm to Cafeteria Conference; and the United Fresh Produce Association Convention.


"Michigan is the gold standard in state level farm to school policy incentivizing local procurement, with its innovative new approaches to invest in children's well-being and local economies," said Helen Dombalis, Senior Director of Programs & Policy for the National Farm to School Network. "You are collecting data, gathering information, telling the story, and getting it out to the public. Kids' health and farmer wealth is what it's about and Michigan is doing it."


State Sen. Darwin Booher, R-Evart, was the original champion of the program after seeing its results in the Grand Traverse region in a local pilot program coordinated by Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. He introduced the concept to Sen. Hansen for inclusion in the education budget.


A total of 121 school districts sought 10 Cents grants, with funding enough for 57 districts serving 134,036 students. The legislature allocated $125,000 each for four of the five prosperity regions, and $75,000 for Prosperity Region 8. Here are the 2018–2019 program grantees:


Prosperity Region 2:

18 grant-winning districts in nine counties of a 10-county region

Number of Students: 22,496  

Districts: Bear Lake Schools, Beaver Island Community School, Benzie County Central Schools, Boyne Falls Public School District, East Jordan Public Schools, Forest Area Community Schools, Frankfort-Elberta Area Schools, Glen Lake Community Schools, Kaleva Norman Dickson School District, Leland Public School District, Mancelona Public Schools, Manton Consolidated Schools, Onekama Consolidated Schools, Pellston Public Schools, Public Schools of Petoskey, St. Francis High School, Suttons Bay Public Schools, Traverse City Area Public Schools

Counties: Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Wexford


Prosperity Region 4:

11 grant-winning districts in six counties of a 13-county region

Number of Students: 31,227

11 Districts: Belding Area School District, Coopersville Area Public School District, Hart Public School District, Holland City School District, Montague Area Public Schools, Saugatuck Public Schools, Shelby Public Schools, Thornapple Kellogg School District, West Ottawa Public School District, Whitehall District Schools, Zeeland Public Schools

Counties: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Muskegon, Ottawa, Oceana.


Prosperity Region 6:

Seven grant-winning districts in four counties of a seven-county region

Number of Students: 18,890

Seven Districts: Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker Schools, Genesee Intermediate School District, Grand Blanc Community Schools, Mayville Community School District, Morrice Area Schools, Owosso Public Schools, School District of the City of Flint

Counties: Genesee, Huron, Shiawassee, Tuscola


Prosperity Region 8:

Eight grant-winning districts in four counties of a seven-county region

Number of Students: 16,602

8 Districts: Battle Creek Public Schools, Bridgman Public Schools, Coldwater Community Schools, Decatur Public Schools, Mattawan Consolidated School, Paw Paw Public School District, South Haven Public Schools, Trinity Lutheran School

Counties: Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Van Buren


Prosperity Region 9:

13 grant-winning districts in four counties of a six-county region

Number of Students: 44,821

11 Districts: Ann Arbor Public Schools, Bedford Public Schools, Chelsea School District, Concord Community Schools, Dexter Community School District, Grass Lake Community Schools, Hanover-Horton School District, Hillsdale Community Schools, Hillsdale Intermediate School District, Jackson Public Schools, Manchester Community Schools, Monroe Public Schools, Whitmore Lake Public School District

Counties: Hillsdale, Jackson, Monroe, Washtenaw 



Program Contacts:

This email was sent to using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Michigan Department of Education · 608 W. Allegan Street, P.O. Box 30008 · Lansing, MI 48909