10 Cents a Meal Advocacy


Get Busy beforE the August 2 Primary!

Right now, every seat in the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate is up for election. The primary date is set for August 2, 2022.

This is an important time to educate candidates about 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids & Farms, the popular and effective state program that helps schools, early childhood education centers, and other organizations participating in USDA Child Nutrition programs purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes to children.

Even if candidates are incumbents, they may not know about the program because it is a single line item in the big School Aid Budget. But current and would-be legislators love learning about 10 Cents a Meal, and the more people know about it, the more we can make investing in healthy, locally grown food for children a part of Michigan’s identity.

Email your candidates using the form here before the August 2 primary to let them know ways we can invest in our future by supporting healthy kids and thriving farms. This email tool will allow you to send emails to nearly all of candidates running for the primary election. We were unable to include candidates who did not have email information readily available. 


Michigan District Locator

Michigan has new House and Senate districts. If you don't know yours, look them up here, and then enter your district number into the top of the form at right.

Michigan State House Districts

Michigan State Senate Districts

other ways to make a difference

  • You can also check out candidates’ web pages and social media to find times and dates for in-person or virtual coffee hours, town halls, and candidate forums.
  • Here is a hand-out to share

Here's why 10 Cents a Meal is so important:

children's health and well-being

  • 10 Cents a Meal provides kids access to nutritious, high-quality, local food so they are ready to learn and grow.
  • Students tried 67 new Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans that schools hadn't served to them before, thanks to 10 Cents a Meal. Schools are where our children get up to two or even three meals a day—even if school is out for a crisis like COVID.


  • The program doubles the state’s investment because schools match the grant with existing school food dollars, usually federal.
  • Schools direct the dollars to purchase Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans. This keeps money in Michigan’s economy—especially benefitting farm families—and strengthens the security of our state food supply.

Read more of Sen. Schmidt's comments in the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

10 Cents a Meal


10 Cents a Meal provides schools with match incentive funds to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and dry beans—improving child health and supporting family farms. Funded as a pilot project by the State Legislature since 2016, 10 Cents a Meal transitioned to a statewide program in 2021. Child nutrition experts at the national level have praised 10 Cents a Meal as a leading, innovative model. Let’s make investing in local food for kids in schools a part of Michigan’s identity.


  • In the last pilot year, schools purchased 93 different fruits, vegetables, and dry beans grown by 143 farms in 38 Michigan counties.
  • School food service directors say 10 Cents a Meal gives them needed funds to try new things, and children love the flavors and varieties that local farms grow —like the many different apple varieties and fun, multi-colored carrots.


  • Farm to school activities enhance classroom education through hands-on learning about food, health, agriculture, and subjects like science and math.
  • Children also see their community reflected back to them when they learn where food comes from. Educators can draw connections to academics, such as teaching fractions by cutting up apples while also celebrating the local apples in the lunch line.

My goal, first and foremost, was to keep it alive. We got that accomplished. As the old adage says: 'Live to fight another day.' And that is what we are going to do.

Senator Wayne Schmidt

(R) Traverse City, Key Legislative Champion for 10 Cents a Meal


Visit the 10 Cents website to learn lots more and find school and community resources, success stories, hand-outs, and legislative reports. A breakdown of the site's navigation can be found here.

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