Program brings fresh produce to TC schools

File this news from the Michigan Land Use Institute under “Building the Next Generation of Foodies”: 

The program, 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms, is starting this fall at Glen Lake Community Schools and the elementary schools of Traverse City Area Public Schools and Suttons Bay Public Schools. The 10 Cent Fund will provide nearly $29,000 for healthy, locally grown produce served to school children in the three districts for one school year—three times a week in fall, once a week in winter, and twice a week in spring.

The districts are matching this 10 cent reimbursement with their own 10 cents from existing school lunch dollars, for a total of nearly $58,000 of produce for students and for the local food economy.

Cherry Republic, of Glen Arbor and Traverse City, made the fall launch possible with a grant of nearly $28,000.

“It’s the biggest donation Cherry Republic has ever made to support local agriculture, and we did it because of the added bonus of getting healthy food in front of our region’s children,” said owner Bob Sutherland. “This is exactly the type of project that I know my customers would be thrilled to support. Our staff is excited too. Many of us have kids at Glen Lake, and we’re talking about going up and joining our kids for a healthy local lunch at the cafeteria once a month.”

In addition to Cherry Republic’s donation, nearly $10,000 has been raised so far through Cherry Capital Foods, Oryana Natural Foods Market, Firefly Restaurant, Epicure Catering, individuals and the Traverse City-based Utopia Foundation.

Read on for much more at MLUI’s Food & Farming news.