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Grants and Awards

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Grants Received: 

Technology Innovation Grant (TIG) 

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)


Blueprint Implementation Grant 

Our office continues to serve as a key partner in addressing Goal 5 (maximizing participation in federal child nutrition programs) for the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger.

School Nutrition is thrilled to announce that we have completed our statewide needs assessment in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s (CDPHE) Evaluation Branch! As a reminder, this was geared toward all School Food Authorities (SFAs) operating the National School Lunch Program as well as the School Breakfast Program, Afterschool Snack Program and/or Summer Food Service Program.  The needs assessment included both the statewide survey and key informant interviews to provide a greater understanding of opportunities & barriers to increasing participation in/access to federal child nutrition programs. Many of you may have attended a presentation at CSNA (or elsewhere) where some preliminary results were discussed, but we’d like to take this opportunity to share the completed final report (PDF) with you all. With a robust 88% response rate, this report showcases the survey results into one document.

Thanks to your contribution to the survey and/or key informant interviews, we can better support child nutrition programs in reaching all of Colorado’s students and families. If you would like more information about this effort, please reach out to Carrie Thielen or Gabriella Warner


Available Grants: 

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.

USDA Equipment Grant

The Equipment Grant Application for SY 2019-20 will open in January 2020. 

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). 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.
  • Expand access and participation in the NSLP or School Breakfast Program.

For more information or questions, please contact Megan Johnson


Local Food Program Grant

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. SFAs that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) are eligible to apply for this opportunity. Available funding ($500,000 for SY 20-21) will be distributed as a reimbursement to SFAs that are selected during the application process. For questions, contact Erin Opgenorth. CDE will prioritize SFAs that: 

  • Demonstrate a commitment to local purchasing or food and agricultural education;
  • Have a kitchen with the ability to store, prepare, and serve local food products;
  • Have greater than 25% of its students eligible for free or reduced-price meals.

Important Dates: 

  1. Oct. 7: Application Opens 
  2. Oct. 22Local Food Program Webinar Recording 
    1. Participants learn about application instructions and requirements for the Local Food Program.
  3. Nov. 26: Application Deadline 
  4. March 1: SFAs Selected 
  5. Aug. 1: SFAs Report to CDE 


Grant Resources