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Grants and Awards
School Food Authorities (SFAs) are encouraged to apply for grant funding to support program innovation, expand access to meals and improve program quality. Current funding opportunities are listed below:
Colorado Health Foundation Mini-Grant Pilot
The School Nutrition Unit will award mini-grants to program sponsors who wish to improve access to and participation in Child Nutrition Programs. The purpose of this grant program is to provide funding to program sponsors to implement strategies to improve the quality of school meals, increase communications to students and families, remove barriers, and improve access to federal child nutrition programs. Mini-grant funds can be used to support a wide range of access/participation promotion activities from training, planning, and developing partnerships, to menu/recipe development, shifts to scratch cooking, student engagement, purchasing equipment, planting school gardens, etc.
- Program sponsors may request a mini-grant amount up to $10,000 within the first year with the option to request additional funding as available.
- A recorded application informational webinar will be available on the Moodle Training Portal by Wednesday, December 1.
- Applications must be completed and submitted through the online Smartsheet form by Friday, December 17, 2021, by 11:59 pm.
- Colorado Health Foundation Mini-Grant RFA (DOC)
- Mini Grant Budget Template (XLS)
The CDE School Nutrition Unit will competitively award U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service Equipment Assistance Grants to eligible school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). For the fiscal year (FY) 21 grant, SFAs that are currently participating in the Seamless Summer Option (SSO) but normally participate in NSLP are eligible to apply for this grant. These funds will allow SFAs to purchase new equipment, replace old equipment or renovate existing equipment to:
- Serve healthier school meals, that meet the meal patterns, with emphasis on more fruits and vegetables.
- Improve food safety.
- Support the establishment, maintenance, or expanison of the School Breakfast Program (SBP).
The CDE School Nutrition Unit competitively awards U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service Equipment Assistance Grants to eligible school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). These funds allow SFAs to purchase new equipment, replace old equipment or renovate existing equipment to support their child nutrition programs.
We are no longer accepting applications for the FY21 grant cycle. Future funding cycles will be announced through The Dish.
With the passage of Colorado HB-1132 during the 2019 legislative session, the Local Food Program will offer selected School Food Authorities (SFAs) a reimbursement for the purchase of Colorado grown, raised, or processed products. This program encourages SFAs to procure local products, foster nutrition education, bolster farm to child nutrition activities, and support Colorado producers and farmers.
- Local Food Purchasing Flyer (DOC)
- Local Food Purchasing Tracking Template (XLS)
- HB-1132 Final Bill (PDF)
- HB-1300 Technical Changes Bill (PDF)
The School Nutrition Unit and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) have been collaborating to streamline the administrative processes (e.g. applications, claim submissions, and reviews) related to operating federal nutrition programs. The agencies have been working with a vendor to develop and implement a new shared technology solution for all child nutrition programs. The new system will be in place by Oct. 2020 and will look and function very similar to the current system to ensure a smooth transition. Both state agencies are confident this technology system will improve program efficiency and integrity, reduce errors and increase customer satisfaction. For questions, please contact Amanda Mercer.
For more detailed information about this project, please view the Technology Innovation Grant (TIG) Overview (PDF).
The School Nutrition Unit is excited to announce the award of a three year implementation grant from the Colorado Health Foundation. This grant allows School Nutrition to support SFA’s and sponsors in maximizing participation in child nutrition programs in new and innovative ways. This includes: providing in-person 1:1 technical assistance across the state, expanding on existing meal quality work through new hands-on culinary trainings, improving data utilization in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, and much more!
This award comes after a year of detailed planning and SFA & Sponsor surveying across the state, culminating in the final report (PDF) based on School Nutrition’s needs assessment. As a reminder, the needs assessment included both the statewide survey and key informant interviews in order to gain greater insight of the opportunities & barriers to increasing participation in/access to federal child nutrition programs.
The work of the implementation grant, along with continued collaboration with the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger, provides the groundwork to ensure these critical feeding programs reach all of Colorado’s students and families.
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