Michigan Awards Food Safety Education Grants for 2023-2024

The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) has announced the recipients of the 2023-2024 Food Safety Education Fund (FSEF) grants, which are aimed at providing food safety training for the food industry and its regulators, and food safety education and outreach for consumers. The FSEF Grant Program is a competitive grant program that follows the state’s fiscal year from October 1 to September 30. The fund was established under the Michigan Food Law of 2000, as amended, Sec. 4117, and is funded through assessments of $3.00 to $5.00 from licensing fees paid by Michigan food establishments.

MDARD received a total of 14 grant proposals requesting funds totaling $481,443. Of the 14 proposals, MDARD awarded nine projects totaling $301,475 ($237,475 from the FSEF and $64,000 from the Dairy and Food Safety Fund). Of the $301,475 awarded, $129,979 was directed toward consumer food safety education, and $171,496 directed toward food service employees and regulatory staff from MDARD and local health departments who enforce Michigan’s food regulations.

Michigan Awards Food Safety Education Grants for 2023-2024
Michigan Awards Food Safety Education Grants for 2023-2024

“Keeping our food safe throughout the food supply chain is an integral part of protecting the public health of Michiganders,” said MDARD Director Tim Boring. “These grants will help train Michigan’s food and agriculture industry to maintain the safety, nutritional value, and quality of food throughout our ever-evolving food system and will help educate consumers about where their food comes from and how to keep it safe.”

The grant recipients and their projects

The nine projects that received funding from the FSEF Grant Program are:

  • Great Lakes Conference on Food Protection – training and scholarship funds for state and local food safety regulatory staff – $26,000
  • Michigan Dairy Industry Conference – milk safety training/education for dairy industry and regulatory staff – $5,000
  • Michigan Environmental Health Association – food protection training for environmental health professionals – $33,000
  • Michigan Farmers Market Association – 2024 food safety education at Michigan community-driven marketplaces – $63,479
  • Michigan Farmers Market Association – comprehensive, accessible licensing and food safety education to Michigan farmers market managers – $32,596
  • Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association – development of vomit and diarrhea policies includes $9,000 in-kind match – $22,200
  • Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association – food processing – includes $14,500 in-kind match – $30,500
  • Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association – multi-media food safety education campaign for consumers, industry, and regulators – includes $32,500 in-kind match – $66,500

The FSEF Grant Program puts funds into the hands of those who have direct contact with restaurant and retail grocery store workers who handle food, and with consumers. The projects cover a wide range of topics, such as milk safety, food processing, norovirus prevention, farmers market licensing, and food safety education for various audiences.

The benefits of the FSEF Grant Program

The FSEF Grant Program is one of the ways that MDARD supports the food and agriculture industry in Michigan, which contributes over $104 billion to the state’s economy annually. By providing funds for food safety training and education, the program helps ensure that Michigan’s food supply is safe, wholesome, and compliant with state and federal regulations. The program also helps raise awareness among consumers about their role in preventing foodborne illnesses and promoting public health.

The FSEF Grant Program is open to any non-profit organization or educational institution that has a direct impact on enhancing or promoting food safety in Michigan. The grant proposals are evaluated by a review committee composed of representatives from MDARD’s Food and Dairy Division; Michigan State University Extension; local health departments; industry associations; consumer groups; and other stakeholders. The grant awards are based on the merit of the proposals, the availability of funds, and the alignment with MDARD’s strategic goals.

For more information about the FSEF Grant Program or to apply for future grants, visit MDARD’s website.

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