RFA: College Food Security Initiatives at New Mexico’s Higher Education Institutions

Fiscal Year 2024 Funding Application:  College Food Security Initiatives at New Mexico’s Higher Education Institutions

The New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2024 (FY24) grants for College Food Security Initiatives at New Mexico’s Higher Education Institutions. The purpose of this program is to address food security and will prioritize initiatives that allow students to have reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food at New Mexico’s public colleges and universities. The grant is designed to assist colleges and universities in building essential capacity and infrastructure to create or support efforts that address issues of food security for students, promote wellness, and help outreach to vulnerable people who may experience hunger on a daily basis on their campuses and in their communities. Innovation in addressing food security needs or moving from emergency meals to reliable food options on campus will be prioritized.

Key Dates
RFA ReleasedJuly 12, 2023
Application DeadlineAugust 16, 2023
Application ReviewAugust 17 - August 31, 2023
Award Notifications IssuedSeptember 1, 2023

Guidance and Template [Download Word Doc]

Guidance and Template [Download PDF]

Please submit completed applications via email to Joel Zimmerer, Executive Administrative Coordinator, at joel.zimmerer@hed.nm.gov.


For any questions, please contact Nathan Moquino, Director, Indian Education Division, at Nathan.moquino@hed.nm.gov or 505-476-8400.

Available Funding

Up to $900,000 will be awarded to successful applicants. The funding will be divided in the following way:

  • Two (2) awards up to $250,000
  • One (1) award of up to $150,000
  • Five (5) awards of $50,000

To address the various needs of higher education institutions across the state, FY24 awards will be scaled from $50,000 to $250,000. The $50,000 awards can be utilized by institutions who received a FY23 College Food Security Grant to build and expand upon a previously funded project. The awards up to $150,000-$250,000 must demonstrate a higher education institutions’ ability to build significant capacity for food security initiatives on their campus that support building a hunger-free campus beyond emergency food pantries and toward a sustainable plan for college food security on their campus. An example of this would be to provide community support agriculture boxes or a grocery service at no cost or low cost with in-person or video training sessions or recipe cards to assist students in learning how to prepare and cook meals. Projects that prioritize access to food with high nutrition, preparation curricula, and no or low-cost meals are encouraged. Funding for new food pantries, data initiatives, or convenings will not be approved this year.

Eligible Applicants
  1. Public higher education institutions or Tribal colleges in New Mexico
  2. Non-profit organizations that work with college students, Tribal education departments, and/or public or Tribal higher education institutions to address food scarcity issues. Collaborations between institutions and/or organizations are encouraged.

Evaluation Criteria

The New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED) will select awardees based on the following:

  1. Alignment of proposed activities with the purpose of the grant;
  2. Cost of service relative to need and cost efficiency;
  3. Positive relationships and outreach with student populations and communities; and
  4. Demonstrated commitment to utilizing the “Hunger-Free Campus Designation” as a foundation for continued and expanded work to address hunger and food security on college campuses. The six (6) criteria that have been at the core of this work for the past two years are:
           • An established on-campus food pantry or partnership with a local food bank to provide regular, on-campus food distributions;
           • Information is provided to students on federal SNAP and other programs that reduce food insecurity;
           • Partnerships exist with local farms, non-profit organizations, or supports a campus farm to provide fresh food;
           • The campus participates in at least one hunger awareness event per academic year;
           • An emergency assistance grant that is available to students; and
           • An established task force that meets a minimum of two times per academic year and addresses campus food security.
  5. Awarded projects for FY24 must propose a sustainability plan for college food security that becomes part of the daily operations. Food pantries are an important part of a “Hunger-Free Campus Designation” but NMHED invites proposals that envision innovations for how campuses can make nutritious food available to students, faculty, and staff, making sure to prioritize the most vulnerable populations. To build on previous years’ work in statewide college food security, proposals should move from emergency food initiatives, such as food pantries, to projects that transform how food services, production, and distribution currently occur on your campus.
Grant Period: September 15, 2023 to December 31, 2024

When submitting your application, please combine all relevant items into one PDF and save the file as “ACRONYMofyourschool/org.FoodSecurity.June2023”

Please submit completed applications via email to Joel Zimmerer, Executive Administrative Coordinator, at joel.zimmerer@hed.nm.gov.

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Patricia Trujillo, Higher Education Deputy Secretary, at patricia.trujillo@hed.nm.gov or (505) 476-8400.