October 05, 2023, Introduced by Reps. Hill, Brixie, McKinney, Rogers, Churches, Martus, Conlin, Price, Brabec, Steckloff, Paiz, Rheingans, Glanville, Tsernoglou, Byrnes, Coffia, Hood, MacDonell, Morgan, Young, Neeley, Brenda Carter, Wilson, Morse, Snyder, O'Neal and Aiyash and referred to the Committee on Higher Education.

A bill to create a grant program to assist certain public institutions of higher education in addressing student hunger at those institutions; to provide for the powers and duties of certain state governmental officers and entities; and to require the promulgation of rules.

the people of the state of michigan enact:

Sec. 1. This act may be cited as the "hunger-free campus grant act".

Sec. 2. As used in this act:

(a) "Department" means the department of education.

(b) "Hunger-free campus grant program" or "program" means the hunger-free campus grant program created in section 3.

(c) "Public institution of higher education" or "institution" means either of the following:

(i) A public community or junior college established under section 7 of article VIII of the state constitution of 1963 or part 25 of the revised school code, 1976 PA 451, MCL 380.1601 to 380.1607.

(ii) A state university described in section 4, 5, or 6 of article VIII of the state constitution of 1963.

Sec. 3. (1) The hunger-free campus grant program is created in the department. The purposes of the program include all of the following:

(a) Address student hunger at public institutions of higher education.

(b) Leverage sustainable solutions to address basic needs on the campuses of public institutions of higher education.

(c) Raise awareness of basic-needs services offered on the campuses of public institutions of higher education.

(d) Build strategic partnerships at the local, state, and national levels to address food insecurity among students attending public institutions of higher education.

(2) The department shall do all of the following:

(a) Designate as a hunger-free campus each campus of a public institution of higher education that meets all of the following:

(i) Establishes a hunger task force that includes representatives from the student body and that meets at least 3 times per academic year to set at least 2 goals with action plans.

(ii) Designates a staff member responsible for informing students about enrollment opportunities in this state's supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP).

(iii) Provides options for students to utilize SNAP EBT benefits at campus stores or provides students with information on establishments in the surrounding area of campus where they can utilize SNAP EBT benefits.

(iv) Holds an awareness day campaign activity or event during the national hunger and homelessness awareness week.

(v) Provides at least 1 physical food pantry on campus or enables students to receive food through a separate, stigma-free arrangement. A campus may partner with a local food bank or food pantry to meet this requirement.

(vi) Develops a student meal credit donation program or designates a certain amount of funds for free food vouchers that might otherwise be raised through such a program. Each public institution of higher education may develop its own procedures for a meal donation program.

(vii) Biannually conducts a student survey on hunger, developed by the department, and submits the results of the survey and a best practices campus profile to the department at a time prescribed by the department for inclusion in a comparative profile of each campus designated as a hunger-free campus. In the development of the survey, the department shall utilize any existing surveys designed to collect information on food insecurity among students enrolled in public institutions of higher education.

(b) Subject to appropriation, allocate grant funding to public institutions of higher education that have 1 or more campuses designated as hunger-free campuses pursuant to subdivision (a). Based on the criteria outlined in subdivision (a), the department shall determine the amount of each grant on a competitive basis. The department shall prioritize grants to institutions with the highest percentages of eligible Pell Grant recipients enrolled at those institutions.

(c) Ensure that each public institution of higher education that receives a grant pursuant to subdivision (b) uses the grant money to further address basic needs among students enrolled at the institution.

(d) Ensure that, following its use of the grant money, each grant-receiving institution provides basic information to the department explaining how the award was used and its deliverables and outcomes.

(e) Submit a report to the governor, the president of the senate, and the speaker of the house no later than 3 years after the establishment of the hunger-free campus grant program. The report must include, at a minimum, the number and amounts of the grant awards, the impact the grant program has had on establishing additional hunger-free campuses at public institutions of higher education and reducing the number of students experiencing food insecurity, and recommendations regarding the potential establishment of an annual appropriation for the grant program.

(f) Promulgate rules to implement this act under the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328.

Sec. 4. (1) The hunger-free campus grant program fund is created in the state treasury.

(2) The state treasurer shall deposit money and other assets received from any source in the fund. The state treasurer shall direct the investment of money in the fund and credit interest and earnings from the investments to the fund.

(3) The department is the administrator of the fund for audits of the fund.

(4) The department shall expend money from the fund, on appropriation, only for the purpose of providing grants to public institutions of higher education that have 1 or more campuses designated as hunger-free campuses, as provided in this act.