(KLIX) - The Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) of the Idaho State Department of Education recently received two large grants totaling more than $2.3 million.

The grants, given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will help improve technology for schools’ USDA programs as well as accountability, data accuracy and program performance across child nutrition programs.

“A Technology Information Grant (TIG) will bring in more than $1.48 million to Idaho, with $250,000 of that money flowing through to local sponsors in the form of mini-grants for the computers, software and other technology they need to run USDA programs,” the department explained in a news release. “Child Nutrition Programs will use the rest of the money to build a detailed Statewide Data Suite, allowing the department to provide needed information as requested for better customer service.”

Mini-grants to local sponsors will average $5,000, most likely, and the total $250,000 is expected to be spread among 51 sponsors, the department said.

“Skilled at identifying needs and crafting applications, our CNP staff are traditionally successful in netting USDA grants for Idaho, but the announcement at this summer’s School Nutrition Association conference marked the first time we’ve won two such major grants at the same time,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said.

Ybarra said only two other states have gotten the distinction.

Another grant, one for 825,241 for Administrative Review and Training (ART), will focus on the National School Lunch Program and will help Idaho CNP improve training and oversight processes, making the sponsor application process easier for districts, schools and families.

“Between the two big USDA grants and the innovative No Kid Hungry grant (announced earlier this summer), this is a banner year for Idaho Child Nutrition Programs, empowering SDE’s efforts to improve the health of Idaho children and promote dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutritional needs of students in every corner of the state," Ybarra said.


More From News Radio 1310 KLIX