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FY 2019 TIG Grant Summaries

Grant Type
Award Date
Colorado TIG 2019 July 2019 $1,000,000
Colorado TIG 2019 July 2019 $1,000,000
DC TIG 2019 July 2019 $1,998,820
Idaho TIG 2019 July 2019 $1,483,013
Iowa TIG 2019 July 2019 $590,236
Michigan TIG 2019 July 2019 $1,994,603
Minnesota TIG 2019 July 2019 $99,975
Montana TIG 2019 July 2019 $76,300
North Carolina TIG 2019 July 2019 $860,715
North Dakota TIG 2019 July 2019 $96,311
Oregon TIG 2019 July 2019 $1,636,775
Pennsylvania TIG 2019 July 2019 $257,840
South Dakota TIG 2019 July 2019 $1,928,599
Department of Education

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) faces several challenges in streamlining and communicating program data to safeguard program integrity. Major challenges stem from the division of child nutrition program administration between two state agencies, CDE and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE); inefficient functionality of current technology system, including CDE and CDPHE having separate non-integrated systems and no data integration within CDE’s system; and inefficient and ineffective use of data. To address these challenges, CDE is seeking grant funds over a three-year period to achieve two goals: 1) improve technology system efficiency and data integration and 2) improve program data use and communication.

To achieve goal one, CDE and CDPHE will award a vendor to deliver one technology system for both state agencies that provides increased functionality and data integration to eliminate duplicative data entry. Following implementation of the new system, CDE will train external customers to increase user confidence and achieve at least 70% customer satisfaction with the new system. To achieve goal two, CDE will develop and implement a data use plan to maximize the increased functionality of the new system and detect and reduce error-prone patterns.

By accomplishing the goals and objectives of this proposal, CDE and CDPHE will implement an innovative new technology system to improve data communication and accuracy and increase collaboration between CDE, CDPHE and program sponsors. Additionally, the new system will improve the collection, tracking and communicating of program data to drive strategic decision-making, reduce errors and increase program integrity. For more information, please contact Bre Riley at or 303-866-6299.

Department of Public Health and Environment

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - Child and Adult Care Food Program (CDPHE-CACFP) and the Colorado Department of Education School Nutrition Unit (CDE) administer Colorado’s USDA-funded child nutrition programs (CNP). Major challenges stem from the division of CNP administration between two state agencies, CDPHE-CACFP and CDE. These challenges include the inefficient functionality of current CDPHE-CACFP and CDE technology systems, which have separate non-integrated systems and no data integration within CDPHE-CACFP systems, as well as inefficient and ineffective use of data. To address these challenges, CDPHE-CACFP is seeking Technology Innovation Grant funds to achieve three goals:

  1. Increase perceived efficiency of participation and customer satisfaction among organizations that participate in multiple Colorado CN programs
  2. Create efficient processes that benefit administrative collaboration between state agencies and gain the ability to use cross-program data to improve integrity
  3. Achieve cross-agency cost savings for CN programs and streamlined procurement processes

CDPHE-CACFP and CDE will award a vendor to deliver one system for both state agencies that provides increased functionality and data integration to eliminate duplicative data entry for shared users. The joint system will offer a single information management system for School Food Authorities and sponsoring organizations participating in multiple child nutrition programs to submit program applications and claims, ultimately reducing duplicative data entry by shared customers. By accomplishing the goals and objectives of this proposal, CDPHE-CACFP and CDE will implement a new technology system to improve program integrity, data communication and accuracy, and increase collaboration between CDPHE-CACFP, CDE and program sponsors. For more information, please contact Naomi Steenson at 303-692-2304.

District of Columbia
Office of the State Superintendent of Education

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is developing a web-enabled system for school nutrition programs, called Orchard. Orchard is designed to manage all aspects of federally and locally funded FNS programs within the District. As part of this new system, OSSE is planning to build an in-house claims for reimbursement module for all current programs.

Currently, all aspects of the claims for reimbursement processes are managed by manual data entry and review from the state agency. Outcomes and resolutions are managed manually. The new module of the Orchard system will manage the claims processes from beginning to end, collect and track data associated with these processes in a web-based system, provide reporting and analysis tools to identify patterns in outcomes, and improve the quality of overall food service programs, data management activities, and other activities performed by OSSE. This is the last module to be built in Orchard and will help sunset the current legacy system. For more information, please contact Lindsey Palmer at or 202-724-7861.

State Department of Education

The Idaho State Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs will use the competitive 2019 Technology Innovation Grant to improve program accountability, data accuracy, program performance and capacity building across the CNPs at the state and Local Educational Agency (LEA and sponsor Organization level). Proposed technology improvements will enhance our current web-based CNP technology solution to include a new statewide data analytics package. This package integrates directly with our current technologies core modules, to help address the varied data needs within the state. This project will allow Idaho CNP to easily manage data within the system utilizing a three-part approach consisting of an ad hoc data tool, data analytics and risk management. Idaho CNP also proposes technology improvement in the form of mini-grants being offered to CNP sponsors to meet their technology needs via the purchase and installation of software and or equipment.

These mini-grants will allow sponsors to effectively apply technology to provide information and tools needed for reviews, program operation, and outreach, will streamline and improve the accuracy of communication at all levels, and will also lead to a reduction in administrative burden for Idaho CNP operators and state agency staff. The main focus of the Idaho grant will be the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), where operational funding is very limited, and grants are seldom available. The SFSP and the CACFP would benefit from improved oversight to increase operational integrity. For more information, contact Shawn Charters at or 208-332-6822, or Colleen Fillmore at or 208-332-6823.

Department of Education

The Iowa Department of Education (IDOE) proposes to implement a technology based system approach to improve program accountability and maximize efficiencies at both the state and local level in multiple USDA child nutrition programs. As requirements become more complex, the development of tools/processes to ease administrative burden at the local level and for state agency staff is essential. The enhancements in this project will reduce program risk and improve overall program integrity in several areas.

The state proposes to organize current training opportunities to provide a one-stop shop for child nutrition programs. Iowa summer food service sponsors use programming to meet community needs and the current application will be enhanced to support program innovation. The application process for new CACFP organizations is challenging to complete. Automation of pre-application will shorten the process for local sponsors and reduce state agency staff approval time. To increase state and local efficiencies Iowa will update various sections (Applications, Claims, Download Forms, and Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program) of IowaCNP. CACFP Shopper, a mobile application, will be enhanced to include infant food crediting and serving size guidance which will increase program integrity and accountability. Modification to the secure IDOE Portal will create one location for three applications used in school nutrition programs. The project objectives will work together to increase efficiencies in oversight, accountability, and improve program performance. For more information, please contact Kala Shipley at 515-281-4757.

Department of Education

The Michigan Department of Education strives to provide electronic environments for program implementation to ensure that the latest state technology standards will provide the greatest program integrity. This proposal has two solutions designed to assist multiple USDA child nutrition programs.

The first solution is to build a meal counting and claiming tool as a mobile application (mobile app). There is need for a ready-to-use meal counting and claiming tool for school nutrition programs, especially the Community Eligibility Provision, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program, and Summer Camp Special Milk.

The second solution is to upgrade the Michigan Nutrition Data System (MiND), a customized web application that creates, collects, and reimburses claims for all child nutrition programs. MiND is long overdue for architectural, user interface, and design upgrades as well as Americans with Disability Act compliance with the purpose to ensure the greatest program integrity possible in an electronic environment. For more information, please contact Diane Golzynski at or 517-241-5362.

Department of Education

The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) will conduct website usability research with internal and external stakeholders on the MDE Food and Nutrition Service website. The goal of the project is to identify viable options for utilizing website technology to improve child nutrition sponsors’ ability to operate efficient programs with strong accountability, integrity, and data accuracy. The project will use a human-centered design approach in order to thoroughly understand customer perspectives and experiences, and design a website that meets their needs. This includes conducting user-focused research with stakeholders, creating and testing prototypes of potential solutions, and developing implementation options that best meet the needs of stakeholders.

User interviews, customer issue logs, and surveys have all shown that program sponsors see our website as a barrier to getting the information they need to operate their programs. This proposed project aims to clarify which aspects of the website most contribute to program operation errors or inefficiencies, and identify the top recommended solution(s) to address these issues. The completion of this project will lay the foundation for implementing a web technology improvement project that will:

  • Improve ease of finding relevant, accurate, and timely information
  • Be cost effective
  • Reduce administrative errors and improve operational efficiency
  • Reduce staff time spent answering customer inquiries
  • Improve the quality of the user experience, as rated by child nutrition sponsors
  • Ease integration with existing MDE software (e.g., CLiCS)
  • Provide the flexibility to grow with program needs

For more information, please contact Monica Herrera at or 651-582-8266.

Department of Public Health and Human Services

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services proposes to research innovative technology solutions that improve program accountability and efficiencies at both the state and local levels. The state agency proposes to seek solutions to bridge gaps in technology automation in order to more effectively manage program applications, eligibility certifications, verification, meal counting and claiming, menu planning, program monitoring, and program reporting.

With the support of the Technology Innovation Grant, Montana CACFP state agency intends to do the following:

  1. Procure a contract for data system research
  2. Procure a contract for internal assessment of:
    -- State agency data systems and capabilities
    -- State agency’s sponsoring organization’s data systems and capabilities
  3. Convene and consult stakeholders
  4. Travel to the Child Nutrition Access & Accountability through Technology (CNAAT) National Training
  5. Request data system presentation(s) from data system developers
  6. Align data collection between:
    -- State agency and local child care providers participating in MT CACFP
    -- State agency and sponsoring organizations
    -- Other agencies administering child nutrition programs (such as the National School Lunch Program and WIC) in Montana

7. Ensure consistency and accuracy of data collection and reporting among all stakeholders with a vested interest in MT CACFP program data

For more information, please contact Leslie Lee at  or (406) 444-3928.

North Carolina
Department of Public Instruction

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction School Nutrition Services, has oversight for the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and Seamless Summer Option (SSO), also known as summer nutrition programs (SNP). The purpose of this project is to implement a new Statewide Summer Nutrition Programs Mobile Meal Counter Application (SNP Meal Counter). This online and mobile tool will be offered by the NCDPI to participating SNP sponsors to increase accountability within the SNP, reduce meal counting and claiming errors, and reduce compliance issues during the SNP Administrative Review. Sponsors report paperwork as one of the major barriers to participation. Improved integrity and increased access while reducing administrative burden of these programs is essential to increase the number of organizations to address NC’s summer nutrition underserved areas. The SNP Meal Counter will allow sponsors to focus on what matters most and simplify the administration of SNP. With the SNP Meal Counter, meals counted at the site are instantly preserved allowing for real-time oversight and easy claim creation. The benefits of the SNP Meal Counter are as follow:

  • Easy meal counting – site personnel can track meals received and served
  • Real-time claims validation - equip sponsors with the means to identify and remediate issues before they become problems
  • Simplified claiming – the SNP application gives sponsors everything they need to swiftly submit claims
  • Accurate SNP counting – agencies report a 100% reduction in counting errors, improving program integrity
  • Promotes site growth – reduces the administrative burden of adding and managing new sites

For more information please contact Cynthia Ervin at or 919-807-3505.

North Dakota
Department of Public Instruction

The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) planning grant will be utilized to create a system-wide plan for improvements to the NDFoods system. Six specific system processes will be the focus of the planning project: Notifications, renewals, payment details, obsolete processes, system conformity and the elimination of irrelevant/redundant records. The improvements identified through the planning grant activities will improve program accountability and operations, data integrity and accuracy and communications.

Originally developed and implemented in 2012 by the ND Information Technology Department (ITD), NDFoods is a computer system for program application, claims and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foods management. While the application has been a good product for the NDDPI, it is in need of repair and upgrading to meet the current needs of the agency and its customers. For more information, please contact Linda Schloer at or 701-328-4565.

Department of Education

The Oregon Department of Education (ODE) currently uses an application called CNPweb that allows child nutrition program sponsors to submit applications and file claims for reimbursement. ODE began using CNPweb in 2008. Over time, CNPweb has become outdated. The platform that CNPweb was originally built on is no longer sustainable. The ODE Information Technology department can no longer provide the expertise and staff hours necessary to make basic enhancements in CNPweb, of which could increase program and data integrity.

ODE’s proposed solution is to use the Child Nutrition Technology Innovation Grant funds to replace CNPweb as ODE’s online application and claiming system. ODE will use the funds to build a comprehensive web application using the current ODE IT infrastructure and outside contractors. The application will be sustainable, increase integrity and be more dynamic. For more information, please contact Dustin Melton at or 503-947-5888.

Department of Education

The Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Food and Nutrition, has oversight for school nutrition programs, Child and Adult Care Food Program and Summer Food Service Program. There are over 2000 sponsors of these programs in Pennsylvania. Technology is necessary to assist the state agency with administering the program in the most effective and efficient manner, while improving program integrity.

The Division is seeking to embed geocoding technology into CN PEARS. Based on the identified address, a latitude and longitude will be assigned for every site in CN PEARS and geo-mapping will occur. Based on the geo-mapping CN PEARS will identify if the address provided is a legitimate address and will also identify if another active site within CN PEARS is assigned to that geo-coded address. Parameters will be established for the system to identify exact geocode matches, as well matches within a specified radius (e.g., 1/8 mile, 1/4 mile). This information will help the Division identify if a geographic area is overserved, but also provide the Division the opportunity to investigate and determine if there are separate and distinct operations occurring at these sites.

Through this Technology Improvement Grant application, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division of Food and Nutrition, is pursuing two opportunities that will promote program integrity and increase administrative efficiency. For more information, please contact Lou Southard at

South Dakota
Department of Education

The South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE) manually completes all program reviews for the school nutrition programs (SNP), Child & Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), and Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). USDA documents available from the Child Nutrition PartnerWeb are utilized in the SNP reviews. Each year these revised forms go through an internal review to add SA-specific language and instruction, and reformatted to aid our SA staff, the reviewers, and the School Food Authorities (SFAs) to properly complete the review. The repetitive data entry of the SNP review increases potential for error and is very time consuming.

The SA developed SFSP and CACFP review forms are reviewed against USDA handbooks, regulation, and policy memos to update review forms to include all the new program review requirements. The review forms, in Word, must be updated and reformatted. This is a time-consuming process that is repeated each new program year. Currently, for all reviews there are dozens of spreadsheets and documents are used to select SFAs/LAs for review, gather data, track reviews, track corrective action by each LA. This manual tracking process is very time-consuming and can potentially cause delays in completing reports in a timely manner.

The state agency is seeking a customized off the shelf administrative review system from an established company that will utilize information from our current online application and claims system to determine the agency review list and sites to be reviewed, track and monitor reviews, increase efficiency, decrease data-entry time and errors, and ensure accurate and consistent fiscal action. For more information, contact Cheriee Watterson at or 605-773-3413.

Page updated: August 28, 2019