If you are a northwest Michigan farmer who grows fruits or vegetables and you like the idea of local school children eating the food you grow — or you just want more sales — now is the time to explore those new markets.
The reason: The Michigan Land Use Institute and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District are launching an expanded two-year pilot project that could mean up to $200,000 in sales of local agricultural products to schools in eight districts in four counties. We’re hoping this new initiative permanently sets the table for local sales — and good food for kids — long into the future.
The project, 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms, initially targeted the Traverse City, Suttons Bay and Glen Lake school districts last fall, thanks largely to area business donations. The budget, raised by MLUI, provides up to 10 cents a meal to purchase local produce three times a week in the fall, twice a week in winter and once a week in spring. Numbers are still being compiled for the initial start, but school receipts show a wide variety of produce purchased.