10 Cents a Meal for School Kids and Farms 2018-2019 Legislative ReportDOWNLOAD
March 21, 2019 - Author: Michigan Department of Education, Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Colleen Matts, Drew Kuhlman
10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms is a state pilot program that provides schools with up to 10 cents per meal in incentive match funding to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans.
Read the legislative overview below, or download the full report to learn more!
More information about the 10 Cents a Meal program can be found at tencentsmichigan.org.
You can also read the evaluation results for the 2017-2018 year here.
$575,000 competitive grant pilot program with $493,500 for school food reimbursements
- Improve daily nutrition and eating habits for children through the school setting
- Invest in Michigan agriculture and related local food business economy
Expanded financially and geographically for three years
- 48,000 students served in 16 districts in 8 counties in 2016-2017
- 95,000 students served in 32 districts in 18 counties in 2017-2018
- 135,000 students served in 57 districts in 27 counties in 2018-2019
For all three years of its history: School food service directors said the top impact from 10 Cents is the variety of produce served to students in school meals increased.
Second top impact cited this year: School food service directors can plan local produce and legume purchasing with greater certainty.
Districts in Prosperity Regions 2, 4, 6, 8, and 9
- 121 districts applied, more than double the 57 that could be funded
- Scored on capacity to purchase, market, and serve local produce and provide related educational activities
- 57 districts awarded grants; $285,513 reimbursed by March 1, 2019
Student Impact: Knowledge
Promotional or educational activities: 588 activities implemented through December of the 2018-2019 school year, including tasting or taste-testing, Harvest of the Month menu features, Cultivate Michigan posters, and nutrition education in the cafeteria and classroom.
Student Impact: Selection and Preference
Asking Students: Prosperity Regions 2, 4, and 8
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems conducted classroom and cafeteria surveys of students in five school districts. Classroom surveys asked what Michigan-grown produce they selected in the lunch line and how they liked it. Products varied by school. Preliminary results:
- 67% of students who tried and rated apples liked them
- 82% who tried blueberries liked them
- 65% who tried lettuce liked it
Asking Students: Prosperity Region 9
Public Sector Consultants conducted cafeteria surveys of students in five school districts. The surveys asked what Michigan-grown produce they selected in the lunch line and how they liked it. Products varied by school. Preliminary results:
- 100% of students who tried and rated carrots liked them
- 93% who tried cherries liked them
- 85% who tried green peppers liked them
Asking Students: Prosperity Region 6
The Crim Foundation’s AmeriCorps FoodCorps program conducted taste-test voting of Michigan-grown produce in Flint Community Schools. Students were asked to vote “Not My Favorite,” “Liked It,” or “Loved It.” Results:
- 88% of students who tried grapes loved them
- 84% who tried orange watermelon loved it
- 71% who tried Parmesan Broccoli loved it
Kids Talk: "I never had this before. It's actually good."
Student Impact: Consumption
New Foods Served to Students: (through December of the 2018-2019 school year)
- 67 total new Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans tried for the first time
- Top new produce on menus: Winter squash, carrots, cherry/grape tomatoes, salad greens, potatoes, radishes, apples, blueberries, plums, watermelon, tart cherries, and beans (black, red kidney, and Great Northern)
Seller and Buyer Impact: Economy
- “Our distributors know we are committed to local and 10 Cents has made them better at sourcing and identifying the source.”
- “Local farms are more interested in serving schools and expanding their business.”
- “They like making sales through the winter.”
- “[We] like having a bit more variety during the winter months with the fresh to freezer items.”
- “Any nervousness that [staff] have had in the past in working with unfamiliar items has been replaced with confidence and pride that we are serving something special.”
- “I describe it as a ‘win, win, win’ situation. The farmers are happy, my food service budget is happy, and the students are happy.”
By the Numbers: 93 different fruits, vegetables, and beans purchased, grown by 143 farms located in 38 counties, plus 20 additional businesses such as processors, distributors, and food hubs.