SB 796 §31j Amendment to PA 94: State School Aid Act of 1979
SB 796 adds an amendment to the State School Aid Act (Public Act 94 of 1979) to allocate $250,000 to school districts from 2016 to 2017 as a part of the “10 Cents a Meal” pilot project. This project aims to improve daily nutrition and eating habits for children through the school setting and invest in Michigan’s agriculture and related local food economies. School districts that successfully compete for these matching grants from the Michigan Department of Education will be reimbursed for the purchase of locally grown or minimally processed fruits, legumes, and vegetables by up to 10 cents per meal. The grants are only available to districts within Prosperity Regions 2 and 4, which includes 10 counties in Northwest Michigan and 13 counties in West Michigan. The bill also states that the department will give preference towards districts that include educational activities to promote healthy food activities, involve parents or the community, and/or connect to farm-to-school procurement activities.
Farm-to-school initiatives can assist with providing fresher foods to K-12 students while also stimulating local food economies (NFSN n.d.; CRFS 2015). Moreover, school food service directors in Michigan have shown an increased interest in purchasing local foods for their programs (Matts and Smalley 2014). SB 796 provides increased funding opportunities for Michigan schools to buy more foods from local farmers and increase the amount of fruits and vegetables available to schoolchildren.
Priority 12 – Funding for local food in school meals
CRFS (Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems). (September 2015). MICHIGAN FARM TO SCHOOL: DIGGING IN AND TAKING ROOT. Michigan State University: East Lansing, MI. Retrieved on November 16, 2016 from LINK.
Matts, C., & Smalley, S.B. (2014). Farm to school in Michigan: Still going strong. Retrieved on November 16, 2016 from LINK.
NFSN (National Farm-to-School Network). The Benefits of Farm to School. National Farm-to-School Network. Retrieved on November 29, 2016 from LINK.