Farm to School is a project that helps schools in northwest Lower Michigan buy and serve locally grown fruits and vegetables at lunch three days a week in the fall, one day a week in the winter, and two days a week in the spring. This pilot project will demonstrate to local and state-wide policymakers, private funders and schools the benefits that can result from providing 10 cents a meal extra for schools to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables. The nonprofit Groundwork, which is leading this initiative with Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, is working to raise at least $50,000 a year for two years, or a total of $100,000. Schools have extremely tight food budgets, with only 20 to 30 cents per meal to buy produce.
The participating schools in four counties are Traverse City Area Public Schools, Benzie County Central Schools, Frankfort-Elberta Area Public Schools, Suttons Bay Public Schools, Northport Public School, Leland Public School, Glen Lake Community Schools, Central Lake Public Schools, and Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools. Depending upon funds raised, it may be expanded to include other schools, breakfast, or summer meals.
Your donation of just $10 would provide local fruits and vegetables for 100 kids, or about four classes, for one day. A pledge of $100 would provide it for almost a week for an elementary school with two classes each of grades 1-5. It’s a great way to put healthy food on kids’ plates while also supporting the local economy. Utopia Foundation will match 25% of every dollar of the first $10,000 donated to the 10 cent a meal campaign.