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Grants and Awards

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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:

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.

USDA Equipment Grant

The CDE School Nutrition Unit will competitively award U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service Equipment Assistance Grants to eligible school food authorities participating in the National School Lunch Program. 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 expansion of the School Breakfast Program.

The FY22 USDA Equipment Assistance Grant is now open and accepting applications through Wednesday, October 26, 2022.  An informational training recording is available for applicants in Moodle.

For questions, contact Jenny Herman at or 720-812-3119.

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.


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 

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.

Grant Resources