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Healthy Meals Incentives Grants for Small and Rural School Food Authorities

This funding record is inactive. Please see the program website or contact the program sponsor to determine if this program is currently accepting applications or will open again in the future.

Action for Healthy Kids, U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Food and Nutrition Service
May 26, 2023

This program will provide grants for small and rural School Food Authorities (SFAs).

Program objectives include:

  • Overcome the challenges that the SFA is experiencing in the improvement of the nutritional quality of their school meals due to limited staffing, difficulty in accessing training, increased food costs due to limited purchasing power, lack of physical space, and/or outdated kitchen equipment, among others
  • Improve the nutritional quality of the SFA's school meals by focusing grant activities in one or more areas:
    • Reducing the amount of added sugars in School Breakfast Program (SBP) meals
    • Reducing the amount of sodium in National School Lunch Program (NSLP) meals
    • Engaging students in local menu planning efforts, taste testing, and nutrition education activities
    • Featuring local agricultural products
    • Increasing whole grain-rich menu items
    • Working collaboratively with students and the community to provide nutritious school meal menu options that reflect the cultures of the school's students
    • Incorporating scratch-prepared menu items into breakfast and lunch weekly meal plans
    • Implementing innovative practices in nutrition education

    After using grant funds to make improvements to school meals, recipients are required to apply for one or more of the Healthy Meals Incentives Recognition Awards to demonstrate to their students and community that nutritious school meals are critically important to support child health and school achievement.


Eligible applicants are small and rural SFAs participating in the National School Lunch Program and/or School Breakfast Program in the contiguous United States, Hawaii, Alaska, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands and who serve food to K-12 students.

Small is defined as student enrollment of 5,000 or less.

Rural is defined as the majority of students within the SFA are enrolled in a rural school as defined by a locality code of 41, 42, or 43 according to the National Center for Education Statistics online tool.

Geographic coverage
Nationwide and U.S. Territories
Amount of funding

Award ceiling: $150,000
Award floor: $10,000
Project period: 2 years
Estimated number of awards: 200
Estimated total program funding: $30,000,000

Tagged as
Children and youth · Food security and nutrition · Schools

Organizations (3)

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