Shirkey: Pilot program improving kids’ nutrition, eating habits

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Mike Shirkey said Thursday that an incentive pilot nutrition program serving K-12 students in Hillsdale, Jackson and other counties across the state is working.

“The 10 Cents a Meal program is a wonderful example of the success that can happen when local communities are involved and invested,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “Because of this project, kids are eating healthier and local farms are benefiting.”

The 10 Cents a Meal initiative is a state-funded competitive grant pilot reimbursement program for schools to improve daily nutrition and eating habits for children. It provides up to 10 cents per meal in matching funds for schools, enabling them to invest in Michigan’s agriculture by purchasing Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables and dry beans.

Hillsdale and Jackson counties are part of Prosperity Region 9, one of three regions participating in 10 Cents a Meal.

“I am delighted that our local farmers are able to provide students with nutritious food and that the kids are enjoying it so much!” Shirkey said.

The number of districts that received grants, and the students they serve, has roughly doubled — from 16 school districts and 48,000 students last year to 32 districts and 95,000 students this year.

For more information on the program, visit