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* * CDE will be closed on Monday, January 21 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday. * *

School Nutrition Unit


Office of School Nutrition - Homepage Photo 5/9/2014

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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Child Nutrition Programs

Updates & Announcements 

Statewide effort to eliminate food insecurity - and we need YOU!

Did you know our office is serving as a key partner in addressing Goal 5 (maximizing participation in federal child nutrition programs) for the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger? School Nutrition, in collaboration with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's (CDPHE) Evaluation Unit, is conducting a statewide needs assessment geared toward all School Food Authorities (SFAs) operating Child Nutrition Programs including the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Afterschool Snack Program and/or the Summer Food Service Program. The needs assessment includes a statewide survey and key informant interviews to help identify opportunities and barriers for increasing participation in and access to federal Child Nutrition Programs. 

Please join us in this effort by ensuring your Child Nutrition Director listed in the Child Nutrition Hub completes our short survey, which will be emailed in mid-January. We ask for one submission per SFA, to be completed by the individual who plans, administers, implements, and monitors the school nutrition program (e.g. Child Nutrition Director, Food Service Director, etc.). 

We thank you in advance, as your feedback will be critical to ensuring Colorado's Child Nutrition Programs reach all of our students and families. If you would like more information about this effort, please reach out to Gabriella Warner, Blueprint Project Manager (720-827-5144). 

Update on Partial Federal Government Shutdown

The second continuing resolution for fiscal year 2019 (P.L. 115-298) expired on Friday, December 21, 2018. Due to a lapse in appropriations for the Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) an orderly partial shutdown of operations has resulted. 

Funding for the US Department of Agriculture, including Child Nutrition Programs, is not impacted at this time. The Child Nutrition Programs include the National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, Summer Food Service Program, and the Special Milk Program. The USDA issued a press release which indicates that the Child Nutrition Programs will continue operations into March, as meal providers are paid on a reimbursement basis 30 days after the end of the service month. School Food Authorities (SFAs) should continue with food service operations as usual at this time, including submitting claim reimbursements.

CDE School Nutrition is in full operation and available to answer any program or funding questions. As more information becomes available, we will keep SFAs updated. Please contact Bre Riley at 303-866-6299 or with any questions or concerns.

The Equipment Grant Application for 2018-19 is now open! 



Please note: For SFAs that wish to purchase equipment for use in a central kitchen, the SFA should use the FRL% for students served from this kitchen (this may be the entire district or a group of schools). For the Smarter Lunchrooms Scorecard, the SFA may submit a scorecard for one school site from each grade group served. If there are overlapping grade groups, please only submit a scorecard for the k-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade groups. 

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