Funding Opportunity



For many North Carolina youth, school meals can be the healthiest or even the only meals they eat some days. Currently, 1 in 5 children in North Carolina face food insufficiency with rates even higher among Black and Latino children. Almost 60 percent of children in North Carolina public schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunch through the Federal National School Lunch Program (funded by the USDA). Unfortunately, some of these children still go hungry at school because their families cannot afford the reduced lunch copay. There are those children who do qualify but experience “lunch shaming” or embarrassment that keeps them from wanting to participate. And, there are still other families who are unaware of the program at all or face additional barriers to participation. Expanding no-cost healthy school meals for all is a solution to address all these challenges.

We are seeking to grow our partnerships and investments to move our state toward providing no-cost healthy school meals on a permanent basis. We believe it is critical for the current and future health and well-being of our youth and key to a thriving North Carolina.


Available Funding

Blue Cross NC Foundation is issuing this Funding Opportunity to solicit policy and systems change ideas to move North Carolina toward providing no-cost healthy school meals for all youth. Policy and systems change approaches go beyond programming and direct service to fundamentally change the systems that create the world in which we live and, in this case, learn. These types of changes are aimed at impacting the broader population as opposed to individuals. The Foundation will consider all submissions and request more comprehensive proposals from select organizations that suggest promising policy and systems change approaches to address barriers, and/or leverage opportunities, to increase access to no-cost healthy school meals. At this stage, there is no limit on the scope, budget amount, or time duration.



Type of Organization:

  • A nonprofit organization that is exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • A government entity.
  • A fiscally sponsored program – A group or project with a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization acting as a fiscal sponsor:
    • The fiscal sponsor is responsible for all legal aspects of the organization or project.
    • The fiscal sponsor is considered the grantee by the Foundation and agrees to be accountable to the Foundation for the programmatic and financial outcomes of the grant.
  • Please Note: Coalitions – Applications involving more than one group or organization are welcome to apply; however, all direct grant recipient(s) must be an established 501(c)(3) nonprofit or fiscally sponsored organization. Organizations and coalitions of any size are eligible to apply if the other eligibility criteria have been met.



Funding opportunity and online
submission form
April 6 – April 29, 2022
Notification of next steps, which may
include a potential video discussion
By May 13, 2022
Video discussion with Foundation staff By June 15, 2022
Notification of next steps, which may
include a request for a proposal
By June 30, 2022
Requested proposals due By August 1, 2022
Grantees selected and notified By September 30, 2022



Online Submission Form Preview

Those interested in responding to this opportunity will complete an online submission form which can be accessed as part of the full funding opportunity document via the link below. This form will seek information about your organization and your policy and/or systems change idea to increase access to no-cost healthy school meals in North Carolina, specifically:

  • Your idea (high-level overview)
  • The barrier/opportunity your idea seeks to address
  • How your idea will result in/lead to expanding access to no-cost healthy school meals in North Carolina
  • Potential key partner(s)
  • Related experience


Frequently Asked Questions

An FAQ will be posted at a later date.


Learn More and Apply

Download the full funding opportunity