For decorative purposes.

Michigan Crunch Guide


August 9, 2023

What is the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch?

The Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch encourages healthy eating and supports farm to school and other local food purchasing initiatives throughout the region. It’s also a fun way to connect food and agriculture to classroom curricula – from science to art & more!

Join the Great Lakes states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio in celebrating National Farm to School Month ➚ by crunching into locally and regionally grown apples on an annually designated Crunch Day. Of course, if you are unable to participate on Crunch Day, we still encourage you to plan an Apple Crunch event anytime during October’s National Farm to School Month.

Participants of all ages are invited to crunch!

Please note: The PDF includes clickable links to additional online resources. Clickable links are blue and followed by a blue arrow (➚).

How to get started

Register Your Crunch!

The best first step is to make your Crunch count. Be sure to register your Great Apple Crunch at ➚

Assemble an Apple Crunch Planning Team

Invite teachers, food service staff, administrators, parents, and students to participate in the event planning process.

Find Your Apples

Review the "Find Your Local Apples" section for tips on finding local orchards to supply apples for your Crunch.

Choose Your Crunch Day Activities

In addition to your Great Apple Crunch at noon, plan fun and engaging educational activities, lessons, field trips, or farmer visits to celebrate Crunch Day!

Prepare Your Community for the Crunch

See "Promote Your Crunch" for tips to spread the word about your Crunch and build excitement, fundraise, or find volunteers for your event!

Amplify Your Crunch

Read "Share Your Story" and learn to amplify your Crunch through photos, social media, TV, newspaper, and radio!

Find Your Local Apples

Remember: The goal of the Crunch is to support our local farmers by purchasing the fruits of their labors! Always inquire about buying apples, but be open to donations if they are offered.

Cultivate Michigan Sourcing Guide

The best source for local apples! This guide includes a food hub and produce distributor directory, and apple sourcing information (description, pack size, item code) for numerous distributors and food hubs. ➚

Cultivate Michigan Apple Promotion Page

Includes various apple promotional materials for institutions sourcing Michigan apples, perfect for showing off your crunch related activities! ➚

Michigan 10 Cents Per Meal Program

Program to help increase school purchases of Michigan grown products. Includes resources for procurement. ➚

Michigan Apples Sourcing Guide

A guide to finding Michigan apples from the Michigan Apple Committee ➚

Michigan Farmers Market Association ➚

USDA On-Farm Market Directory ➚

Taste the Local Difference Find Food and Farms Tool ➚

Michigan Market Maker ➚

Crunch Time Tips

  • A conference, staff meeting, or all-business event is perfect for a Crunch because everyone is already in the same place.
  • Make the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch into a celebration to raise awareness! Invite your organization's leaders to your Crunch.
  • Don’t forget to appoint a photographer or videographer to capture all the action of the Great Apple Crunch!
  • The Crunch makes a great fundraiser! Provide locally-sourced apples, and ask participants to make a donation for their apple.
  • Post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #GreatAppleCrunch #MIAppleCrunch #F2SMonth #CultivateMichigan

Keep The Crunch Going All Day!

  • Taste test multiple apple varieties and vote on your favorite.
  • Feature a local apple recipe in your cafeteria or catering on Crunch day
  • Invite a local farmer to join your Crunch.
  • Arrange an event to a local orchard. Pick your own apples and Crunch under an apple tree.
  • Lead a hands-on cooking class for staff featuring a fresh, healthy apple recipe.
  • Ask all staff to dress in the color of their favorite apple!
  • Bring fresh-pressed apple cider, or warm mulled cider in a crock pot.

Promote Your Crunch

Once your planning team has established your Great Apple Crunch activities, spread the word to your entire community, office, agency, and partners to build the excitement and increase participation. Here are some general outreach ideas:

  • Announce the event in your staff, office, or community newsletter or e-newsletter. Use this as an opportunity to invite volunteers to lead Apple Crunch activities, find local apples, or invite a local farmer to come visit.
  • Promote the event through social media using the hashtags #MIAppleCrunch, #CultivateMichigan and #F2SMonth. On Facebook, repost the "We Registered" badge, and share the Crunch Countdown posts.
  • Arrange a special Apple Crunch planning meeting that’s open to the public—be sure to find a time where many community members can join.
  • Create flyers or posters to hang around your office, business campus, or eating space. Use the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch logo to advertise, or create your own design.
  • Talk to the chef or cafeteria staff about including a local apple dish on the Crunch Day menu, or purchasing local apples for your Crunch. Put the Crunch on the office menu, and highlight your local farmer.

Share Your Story

It’s not a Crunch heard 'round the region unless you get the word out far and wide! 

Important reminder: Make sure you have appropriate photo release forms for youth featured in your Great Apple Crunch photos.

  • Inform local newspapers and television reporters know about your Apple Crunch. Send a press release or invitation to join your event. Click here ➚ for a template press release to customize for your outreach. Use the celebration as a way to share more about your farm to school activities, local food purchasing, and National Farm to School Month.
  • Get out your camera, smartphone, or video device and take a “crunch byte” to share through social media.
  • Share your event widely through Facebook and other social media! Post to your page and with the Michigan Apple Crunch page too! Facebook:➚
    *Note: any photos or videos posted to social media may be used in future Apple Crunch promo material.
  • Use the hashtags #F2SMonth #MIAppleCrunch and #CultivateMichigan to share your images on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Great Lakes Apple Crunch Logo

Don’t forget to download your copy of the Great Lakes Great Apple Crunch logo. Use the logo to promote the Great Apple Crunch around your community, on your website, and on social media.

You will find various public logo files for your state at the link below. Customize promotional items like posters, blog posts, and social media content. Click this link to access the logo files.

For More Information

  • Mariel Borgman
    Community Food Systems Educator
    Michigan State University Extension
    989-506-3922 |
  • Kelly McClelland
    Community Food Systems Educator
    Michigan State University Extension
    810-244-8555 |
  • Garrett Ziegler
    Community Food Systems Educator
    Michigan State University Extension
    616-608-7436 |

Join the Michigan Farm to Institution Network ➚ and  Cultivate Michigan ➚

For more information on the Great Lakes Apple Crunch: ➚

Discover Farm to School Month: ➚

Download the sample press release at this website:➚


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