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Awards, Grants & Recognition Opportunities

Award TitleDescription & Entry Instructions

2016 Equipment Assistance Grants

The NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is pleased to notify all School Food Authorities (SFA) of a grant opportunity specifically intended to help SFAs purchase commercial equipment for use in storing, preparing and/or serving nutritious meals to students that participate in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).  The one-time appropriation of $955,130 has been made available to the NCDPI for sub-grants for equipment purchases in eligible schools and sites in traditional, charter and non-public schools and residential child care institutions operating the NSLP.

CLICK HERE for more EAG for more information, application instructions and the grant application.

Applications are due to the NCDPI by 5:00 PM, Wednesday December 7, 2016.

Should you have questions, please contact Tara Tyson at, or Jacquelyn McGowan at

2015 USDA Best Practice Awards (USDA – SERO)

2016 Best Practice Awards Criteria and Nomination Entry Forms

The US Department of Agriculture has announced the Twenty-second Annual Best Practice Awards in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and Food Distribution Program (FDP). The purpose of this program is to encourage and reward outstanding practices in schools and in School Food Authorities (SFAs) in the Southeast Region Please review the attached Best Practice Awards information for 2015.   All nominations are due on or before 5:00 p.m. on Monday, March 30, 2016.  Electronic documents or fax transmissions will not be accepted.  Please review the entry details and criteria along with the nomination entry forms.

Nominations should be mailed to:

Physical Address:
Attention:  Pat Brafford
School Nutrition Services Section
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
301 North Wilmington Street
Education Building, 7th floor South
Raleigh, NC  27601-2825


Mailing Address:
Attention:  Pat Brafford
School Nutrition Services Section
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
6324 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC  27699-6324

2015-16 Golden Key Achievement Award

Award Guide for School Nutrition Managers and Staff

The Golden Key Achievement Award program is a set of criteria designed to recognize the great accomplishments in a single school cafeteria. The purpose of the award is to promote benchmarks of excellence across North Carolina and to honor School Nutrition programs that maintain high standards.  This award promotes activities that complement current program regulations and best practices and aligns with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) professional standards learning topics. Participation in this award fosters ongoing professional development and improvement in the school nutrition environment.

To compete for the Award, School Nutrition managers and employees will conduct activities in four (4) Key Areas:

1.  Nutrition     2.  Operations     3.  Administration     4.  Communications and Marketing

The awards summary is due by April 15, 2016.  In addition, School Food Authorities may submit the one best plaque entry for consideration of the state-wide award that is presented for first, second, and third place at the School Nutrition Association of North Carolina annual conference and recognized at the North Carolina School Nutrition Administrator Conference.

2015 Golden Key Award Winners

Healthier US School Challenge Award (HUSSC)

Visit the HealthierUS School Challenge website for details

**Applications may be submitted any time during the school year. 

The Healthier US School Challenge (HUSSC) is a voluntary initiative established in 2004 to recognize those schools participating in the National School Lunch Program that have created healthier school environments through promotion of good nutrition and physical activity.  Four levels of superior performance are awarded:  Bronze, Silver, Gold and Gold of Distinction.

Schools may submit applications for the Healthier US School Challenge by US mail or online.  A simplified district application process is available if there are two or more schools applying from one school district.

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