Funding for the 10 Cents a Meal grant program was among the 147 line-items vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the state budget earlier in October.
Designed to help school food service programs purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables, 10 Cents a Meal was set to expand to the entire state this year at a cost of $2 million. Supporters said it helped students make healthy choices and offset meal program costs.
Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Grand Traverse County) told the Traverse City Record Eagle that it seems Whitmer is “lashing out” with her line item vetoes.
“I’m frustrated, disappointed and a little bit shocked,” said Schmidt, chair of the K-12 and Michigan Department of Education Appropriations subcommittee. “Because she (Whitmer) didn’t get her way 100 percent, she’s taking it out on students across the state and especially here in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. That’s just not right.”
Eliminating funding for that program made no sense because it was in Whitmer’s original budget, Schmidt added.
The 10 Cents a Meal program allows school districts to apply for state grants administered by the Michigan Department of Education. Districts then matched the grant amount and used the funds to buy fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables and beans.