What can you get for a dime? Add it to the federal reimbursement for a school meal, and it buys a lot. Use it to support spending on farm to school, and it generates many more times its value in local economic development. That’s the thinking behind Michigan’s “10 Cents a Meal” pilot, which directs millions of dimes into locavore salad bars, entrees, and snacks for children in 16 districts. Modeled after trailblazing farm to school policy in Oregon, the program received state funding for the first time this year. At just $250K, it seems a small start. But its crafters, and its champions in the state Senate, are planning on big—statewide in time, just like in Oregon. This episode brought to you by the Museum of Food and Drink.
Image: Local rainbow salad in Traverse City, MI
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The Impact of 7 Cents: Examining the Effects of a $.07 per Meal Investment on Local Economic, Development, Lunch Participation Rates, and Student Preferences for Fruits & Vegetables in Two Oregon School Districts (Report from Ecotrust, 2010)