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School Nutrition Unit

Our Mission

The CDE School Nutrition Unit administers the USDA Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) that provide healthy food to children in Colorado. Each of these programs helps to fight hunger and obesity and promotes the health and well-being of children. School Nutrition is committed to ensuring all school-aged children have equal access to healthy meals by supporting, training, and connecting Colorado's child nutrition community.

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The Dish is our monthly e-newsletter designed to help you implement Child Nutrition Programs.

Child Nutrition Programs


School Breakfast Program | Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program | After School Snack Program | Provisions | Seamless Summer Option

Monthly Spotlight

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) in Colorado!

Food Service Staff from Englewood School District

Food Service Staff from Canon City School District

The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) creates healthier school environments by expanding the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed by elementary school children, at no cost to students. The FFVP is an effective way to introduce students to fresh and healthy snack options outside of school breakfast and lunch programs. Staff, teacher and administrative support for the FFVP is key to program success. The students at Bishop Elementary in Englewood Schools love the FFVP and participate in the program during their Physical Education class. Heather Maskalenko says, "The FFVP has provided our students an opportunity to experience nutrition education in ways that I never thought possible. Our students are able to taste a variety of exotic fruits and vegetables that most people will never be exposed to. I am so grateful for this opportunity!" Heather loves to dress up in fruit and vegetable costumes for the nutrition education piece of the program. This year, students have sampled dragon fruit, gooseberries, passion fruit, salsify root, finger limes, jackfruit, orach, and much more. Katie Cossette, Director of Nutrition Services, works to coordinate FFVP menus with their purchasing cooperative. She uses dietetic interns to piece together menus and to design the nutrition education toolkit for participating programs and Englewood Schools. Thank you for all you do, Katie!

At Canon City, nutrition services worked with the principal and teachers to implement time and temperature logs within the FFVP - this has increased efficiency and food safety within the program. Janelle Grooms, Canon City's Food Service Director implemented a policy in which classrooms pick up their FFVP within a half hour window and sign for their fruits and vegetables. Janelle additionally delivered fliers to teachers around the school, explaining food safety procedures within the classroom and provided guidelines and best practices for serving safe produce to students. The kitchen staff at Canon City enjoy serving students fruits and vegetables they might not be exposed to. Each fruit and vegetable offered includes descriptions that teachers can share with students. The whole-school approach to the FFVP allows students to get excited about the program and share what they liked about the fruits and vegetables.

Frequently Requested

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race,color, national origin, sex, religious creed, disability, age, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or (3) email: institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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Contact Us

Colorado Dept. of Education
201 East Colfax Ave.
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: 303-866-6600
Fax: 303-830-0793
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