State Departments and Food Policy
Michigan Food Policy Council includes a broad spectrum of governmental agencies who work in partnership with fellow council members. These agencies contribute time, knowledge and resources to address a range of food policy issues. In addition, the 2006 Michigan Food Policy Council report calls on several state departments to implement programs central to the recommendations, as well as their work in serving the citizens of Michigan.
The Department of Agriculture & Rural Development serves, promotes and protects the food, agricultural, environmental, and economic interests of the people of Michigan. The top priorities for MDARD are ensuring food safety and security, animal and plant health and protection, environmental stewardship, a viable agricultural economy, consumer protection and homeland security.
The Department of Community Health strives for a healthier Michigan by taking steps to prevent disease, promote wellness and improve quality of life. Some examples of the focus on nutrition include: the Cardiovascular Health, Nutrition and Physical Activity Program, the Michigan Strategic Plan for Diabetes, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, Project Fresh and the community Nutrition Environment Assessment Tool .
The Department of Human Services assists children, families and vulnerable adults to be safe, stable and self-supporting. MDHS administers the Food Assistance Program (FAP) for Michigan that supplements the food purchasing power of low-income individuals and families. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds 100% of this program and Michigan shares administrative costs with the federal government. The Department of Human Services (DHS) determines eligibility for food assistance.
The Department of Environmental Quality houses a variety of programs that work to protect and enhance Michigan's environmental and public health. For example, the MDEQ's Pollution Prevention Program works with farmers to provide loans to producers who are reducing or limiting the generation of potential sources of environmental contamination.
The Department of Education oversees not only education in the state but also the meals of students during the school day. Within MDE, the Office of School Support Services oversees the administration of several different federal and state programs.
The federal Child Nutrition and Food Distribution Programs include: the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Team Nutrition, Food Distribution Program for Schools, Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and the Emergency Food Assistance Program which provide nutritious meals to children and food to low income families.
Initiatives, Programs, and Partnerships
Food and Agriculture Business
Agricultural Processing Renaissance Zones
In 1997, Michigan became the first state in the nation to offer tax-free Renaissance Zones to help spur new jobs and investments. Agricultural Renaissance Processing Zones, created in 2003, are designed to help utilize and transform Michigan's raw commodities in the state into processed and value-added agriculture products and improve markets and profitability for Michigan growers.
Green Jobs Initiative
The Michigan Green Jobs Initiative is designed to help make sure the emerging industries and green economy have the trained workers they need to grow and prosper. The Agricultural and Natural Resources Conservation Industries are included an integral element of the Green Jobs Initiative.
Julian-Stille Agricultural Innovation Program
For information on recent grant activities please read the 2008 Ag Innovation Grant Report
Michigan Business One-Stop
Everything you need to do business in our great state is right here in this one stop shop -- from information about licensing and permits, to tax registration and unemployment insurance.
Michigan Commodities Groups Database
A detailed list of Michigan commodity producer associations.
Pollution Prevention Program
The Department of Environmental Quality program to assist farmers and producers in reducing pollution in operations and waste management.
Regional Skills Alliances
A MiRSA is a regionally and industry-based partnership among employers, educational institutions, training providers, economic development organizations, and public workforce system agencies. All of these groups come together to plan for and solve workforce problems in an innovative way with a commitment to doing so over the long-term.
Farmers Markets and Fresh Food Access
Community Nutrition Environment Assessment Tool
The Nutrition Environment Assessment Tool (NEAT) is an online assessment of a community's environment and policies related to promoting and supporting healthy eating and the provision of access to healthy foods within the workplace, community and school settings.
Michigan Farmers Markets Food Assistance Partnership
A collaborative partnership spearheaded by the Michigan Food Policy Council and Michigan Farmers Market Association focused on increasing farmers market access to low-income and diverse communities in Michigan. In 2009, USDA awarded the Michigan Food Policy Council a $45,100 grant to increase the number of farmers markets that accept food assistance through the Michigan Bridge Card.
Food Assistance Program
The Food Assistance Program supplements the food purchasing power of low-income individuals and families. This page provides information on all Food Assistance Programs available in Michigan, including options for using Food Assistance Benefits at Farmers Markets and other fresh food retailers.
An interactive mapping system that locates businesses and markets of agricultural products in Michigan, providing an important link between producers and consumers. Consumers can search for Michigan products from small and large producers, and producers can locate wholesalers, retailers and potential consumers for their products.
Michigan Nutrition Network
The Michigan Nutrition Network fosters multidisciplinary, community-based, public-private collaboration to build and strengthen alliances focused on nutrition and physical activity. MNN facilitates the development of effective, high quality nutrition and physical activity initiatives that reach Michigan consumers - with a special focus on reaching those with low income.
Michigan Farm to School
"Farm to School" applies to a variety of initiatives in Michigan, including efforts to offer local foods in school cafeterias, school garden programs, fundraisers that take advantage of local products, farmer visits to school classrooms and cafeterias, and field trips to nearby farms.
Project Fresh and Senior Project Fresh
Project Fresh is an educational program providing participants with coupons to purchase fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables at participating farmers markets.
WIC - Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children
WIC is a federally-funded program that provides a nutrition and health resources to low and moderate income pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women, infants, and children up to age 5.