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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

ICYMI - REOPENING: 10 Cents a Meal Application for SY 2021-2022

Hi all - 

I wanted to make sure that you saw the following email announcing the forthcoming reopening of the application window for 10 Cents a Meal, sent out to our newsletter subscribers last week.

If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter for the latest information, sign up HERE.

Nathan Luis MedinaPolicy Specialist, 10 Cents a Meal

Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities

10 Cents A Meal for Michigan's Kids    & Farms

Nathan --

We've got news! If you missed out on the opportunity to apply for 10 Cents a Meal you will have another chance to apply at the end of January. The Michigan Department of Education plans to reopen the 10 Cents a Meal grant application for the 2021-2022 school year at the end of January. We will send out more details once the application is open but for now, interested parties can start to prepare for the application by considering the following:

  • Budget: Begin to think about how local food fits into your budget, review how much you spent on local food purchases in the past year and be prepared to provide a rough estimate of how much you spent. 
  • Procurement: Where do you normally purchase food for your food service program? What kinds of Michigan-grown produce have you sourced before and from where? Begin to explore what Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes you would purchase and where you plan to purchase them from. For example, sources of Michigan-grown food can come from an existing food distributor you work with (ask you sales rep for a list of Michigan-grown products), a food hub, direct from farm, farmer's market, etc.
  • Preparation and Menuing: Think of the ways you would serve Michigan-grown food (e.g. whole fresh, on a salad bar) and the equipment your staff would use to prepare it (e.g. oven, tilt skillet, blender). Begin brainstorming how Michigan-grown food fits into your menus.
  • Educational Activities: Identify the kinds of food and nutrition activities you would conduct and their projected impacts. Activities should support the following goals:
    1. Promote healthy food activities, including taste tests. 
    2. Increase student knowledge and consumption of Michigan-grown products. 
    3. Have clear educational activities. 
    4. Involve parents or the community. 
    5. Connect to a school's farm to school procurement activities.
  • Marketing and Promotion: How will you promote local food? Ways include offering taste tests, signage, identifying local food on your menus, newsletters etc.
  • Collaboration: Brainstorm assets to your community and potential partners that can help you be successful with the grant. E.g. Maybe there are many fruit orchards and farms in your county that can be a source of Michigan-grown food for you, or maybe there is a local parent group who is interested in assisting with taste test activities or helping run a school garden.

Review the full, newly updated 10 Cents a Meal Application Guide here. Success looks different for each 10 Cents a Meal grantee depending on staff capacity, budget, and facilities but there is no shortage of resources and opportunities for success. Need some targeted help with getting started? Send us an email at or


Looking for more resources on preparing for your 10 Cents a Meal application? Here are some ideas and tools:

  • Connect with an existing grantee: Interested in learning what the experience of participating in 10 Cents a Meal is like? See who is in your area by reviewing our list of current grantees here or check out our interactive map
  • Assess your farm to school/farm to ECE preparedness: Check out this checklist of prompting topics and questions to help you assess your school or child care center's readiness for farm to school activities.  
  • Build your farm to school program: Review the tools on this page that relate to the primary objectives of 10 Cents a Meal—procurement of Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes, preparing them, promoting them, and planning educational activities around them. 
  • Webinars and resources: Check out past webinars and training resources created for 10 Cents a Meal grantees, farmers, and distributors.

Resources from Statewide Partners

Michigan State University Extension Services 
We want to remind you that our partners at Michigan State University Extension are able to help you implement ideas to further promote student consumption of Michigan food in your school or early childcare center or home if you are eligible. Eligibility includes having a student body in a participating school building where greater than 50% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch, participation in Community Eligibility Program (CEP), or being located in an eligible census tract. To determine if your school or early childcare site is eligible and to learn more about this FREE coaching experience and nutrition education classes that could be accessed, please fill out a request for contact

For 10 Cents a Meal ECE grantees--GoNAPSACC

Early care and education sites participating in 10 Cents a Meal are able to utilize a FREE resource called Go NAPSACC. To learn more about the validated tools that help you find out what your site is already doing well in practice, policy, and environment, visit

If you would like to use the self-assessments, develop action plans, and have access to FREE online trainings linked to MI Registry with additional technical assistance from MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, please fill out this form to receive an invitation to connect with Go NAPSACC. Utilizing this tool is NOT a requirement of 10 Cents a Meal but is a helpful resource available to you.

In the News

Upcoming Events

10 Cents a Meal Network Meeting

Our next 10 Cents a Meal Network meeting will take place on February 17th from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Join the 10 Cents a Meal network for a session exploring local food sourcing partnerships. We will hear from 10 Cents a Meal grantees and producers/distributors of local food as they discuss how they formed successful partnerships. Planned speakers include: Corrine Holm of Artesian Farm and Patty Iazzetto of New Buffalo Area Schools to discuss their farm direct partnership; Shana Woodworth of Cherry Capital Foods and Jacob Foote of Lansing School District to discuss partnering with a distributor; and April Schmidt of YWCA Kalamazoo and Rachel Bair of KVCC's ValleyHub to discuss partnering with a food hub. Registration link here

Farm to ECE Network 

The first Michigan Farm to ECE Network meeting of the year is happening on Tuesday, February 1, 2022 from 6:00-7:15 pm! Join us for a presentation and Q&A on the forthcoming 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan's Kids and Farms application. Register now!

If your child care center receives reimbursement directly from the State of Michigan for a food program, you are eligible to apply for the 10 Cents a Meal program. If you receive reimbursement from another entity, such as a Family Day Care Home sponsor, or a larger sponsor of independent child care centers, you are not directly eligible for the 10 Cents a meal program. Please encourage your sponsor to apply!

This meeting will include:

  • A step-by-step walk though of the forthcoming 10 Cents a Meal application,

  • An overview of what counts as local food purchasing through the 10 Cents a Meal grant, and

  • Information about how ECEs can connect with local growers and resources/directories you can use to locate farmers and local food sources near you.

Northern Michigan Small Farms Conference - Feb 2-6, 2022
The Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference (NMSFC 2022) brings together farmers and gardeners from across Michigan to learn and connect. There will be a Northern Michigan-specific 10 Cents a Meal session for interested growers.

One ticket ($25) gets you access to the full suite of 2022's conference, including:

  • Pre-recorded conference sessions you can view at your own pace, both before and after the conference
  • Five-day live conference from Feb 2–6, offering a chance to connect with fellow attendees and ask questions of session presenters. All live sessions will be recorded and posted for later viewing.

(Access is per-computer/per-farm so more than one person can make use of the ticket.)

Michigan Farm to Institution Network Meeting

Inclusive, local sourcing from a diverse set of suppliers is a key strategy to ensure an institution's food spending drives economic growth, including in their home community.

The next MFIN Virtual Network Meeting on Tuesday, February 8th will focus on the topic of supplier diversity in institutional food procurement. Presenters from Spectrum Health System and the Chicago Food Policy Action Council will share examples and resources to help Institutional food service staff develop and implement their own supplier diversity programs. Discussion will highlight opportunities for local food supply chain partners to connect with new vendors.

The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems is supporting this meeting through a grant from the Kresge Foundation.

The recording will be shared after the event.

Registration is required to participate in this free virtual meeting.

Food Literacy for All

University of Michigan Sustainable Food Systems Initiative's Food Literacy for All series is back in partnership with  The Detroit Food Policy Council. The class is free and will take place virtually on Tuesday evenings at 6:30pm EST starting January 11th through April 19th!

Learn more and register here:

Need a Speaker?

Would your community or organization like us to present on 10 Cents a Meal? If so, send us an email at or

Ten Cents A Meal

10 Cents A Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms · MI, United States
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MIFARMTOSCHOOL is a listserv that links farm-to-school stakeholders and practitioners in Michigan, from school food service directors and school administrators to growers and distributors. Content posted to MIFARMTOSCHOOL does not necessarily reflect the views of Michigan State University or the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

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