How could the food that kids eat at school become more local,
more nourishing and more loved?

The Lake Michigan School Food System Innovation Hub funds community-driven collaborations that reimagine school meals.

Applications for our first round of awards closed on April 30, 2024. The next round of applications for the Spark Awards will open in 2025, with additional grant cycles continuing through 2028.

Illustration of a bowl of noodles, a butterbut squash, a loaf of brown bread, two strawberries and a tamale
Picture of a girl with brown hair, holding an apple and smiling


Every school day, millions of kids eat breakfast and lunch at school. Together we can ensure that these meals reflect our region’s abundant harvests and rich cultural diversity.

The Lake Michigan School Food System Innovation Hub is a new, USDA-funded, grant-making initiative working across Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Indiana to fuel change for our region’s school food system.

Are you working in our local food system as a farmer; food producer, supplier or distributor; educator; or nonprofit partner? We invite you to collaborate and apply for funding. We are especially interested in hearing from people living and working in areas that don’t have equitable access to resources.

Grants are available from $10,000 to $100,000 per year.

We're Here to Help!

Whether you’re in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin or Indiana, your State Lead can support your application and help answer questions about eligibility, forming a partnership, financial procedures and more.