Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grants Program

 

The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant program is a competitive program. Projects funded under this program provide incentives to low-income consumers participating in the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) to purchase fruits and vegetables at the point of sale. The projects supported by this program have the support of State agencies and include use of effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies that can serve as a replicable model for benefit redemption.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.331
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: For FY 2014:
Not applicable. Program was not yet funded. Fiscal Year 2015: For FY 2015:
$31.5 million for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Program was awarded for 2014/2015 to local, state, and national organizations to support programs that help SNAP participants increase their purchase of fruits and vegetables. A total of 31 awards went to the following: Pilot Projects (16), Multi-Year Community-Based projects (7), and Multi-Year large-scale projects (8). See the 2015 FINI RFA for more details. Fiscal Year 2016: For FY 2016:
Approximately $20 million will be available for FY 2016 FINI awards.
Authorization
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113-79) amended Section 4405 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 7517) and established the competitive grant program, the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program (FINI).
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Eligible entities include governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Eligible entities include governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations.
Credentials/Documentation
Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM) - each applicant (unless excepted under 2 CFR § 25.110(b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal awarding agency under 2 CFR § 25.110(d)) is required to: (i) Be registered in SAM before submitting its application; (ii) provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and (iii) continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. It also must state that the Federal awarding agency may not make a Federal award to an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable DUNS and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Federal awarding agency is ready to make a Federal award, the Federal awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal award to another applicant.

Applicants must furnish the information required in the request for applications (RFAs). Successful applicants recommended for funding must furnish the information and assurances requested during the award documentation process. These include, but are not limited to the following:

Organizational Management Information - Specific management information relating to an applicant shall be submitted on a one time basis, with updates on an as needed basis, as part of the responsibility determination prior to the award of a grant identified under this RFA, if such information has not been provided previously under this or another NIFA program. NIFA will provide copies of forms recommended for use in fulfilling these requirements as part of the preaward process. Although an applicant may be eligible based on its status as one of these entities, there are factors which may exclude an applicant from receiving Federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment or suspension of an individual involved or a determination that an applicant is not responsible based on submitted organizational management information). This information collection is approved under OMB Circular Control No. 0524-0026, “Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights, Compliance and Organization Information.”. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
All Requests for Applications (RFAs) are published on the Agency’s website and Grants.gov.

Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process.

All applicants must have the support of the State agency prior to submitting a proposal. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA.

Applicants must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov.

Award Procedure
Applications are subjected to a system of peer and merit review in accordance with section 103 of the Agricultural Research, Extension and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613) by a panel of qualified scientists and other appropriate persons who are specialists in the field covered by the proposal. Within the limit of funds available for such purpose, the NIFA Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) shall make grants to those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth in the RFA.

Reviewers will be selected based upon training and experience in relevant scientific, extension, or education fields, taking into account the following factors:

(a) The level of relevant formal scientific, technical education, or extension experience of the individual, as well as the extent to which an individual is engaged in relevant research, education, or extension activities;

(b) the need to include as reviewers experts from various areas of specialization within relevant scientific, education, or extension fields;

(c) the need to include as reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range or forest managers/operators, and consumers) who can assess relevance of the applications to targeted audiences and to program needs;

(d) the need to include as reviewers experts from a variety of organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and Federal agencies, private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations;

(e) the need to maintain a balanced composition of reviewers with regard to minority and female representation and an equitable age distribution; and

(f) the need to include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness to producers and the general public of each application.

Evaluation Criteria will be delineated in the RFA.

2 CFR Part 200 – Subpart C and Appendix I apply to this program.

2 CFR Part 400 applies to this program.
Deadlines
Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Dates for specific deadlines are announced in the RFA. Information is also available via our website and may be obtained via the Grants.gov website. Respective links are provided below:

http://nifa.usda.gov/grants
http://www.grants.gov

From 30 to 180 days. Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA) each fiscal year.
Appeals
None.

2 CFR Part 200 – Subparts D & E apply to this program.
Renewals
Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA).
How are proposals selected?
The Request for Applications (RFA) will identify the criteria to be evaluated for selection. NIFA will give priority to projects that maximize the share of funds used for direct incentives to participants; use direct-to-consumer sales marketing; demonstrate a track record of designing and implementing successful nutrition incentive programs that connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers; provide locally or regionally produced fruits and vegetables; or are located in underserved communities (particularly Strike Force and Promise Zone areas).
How may assistance be used?
The FINI grant program projects will provide incentives to low-income consumers participating in SNAP to increase their purchase of fruits and vegetables. These projects will be evaluated for their success in increasing the purchase of fruits and vegetables and improving nutrition and health outcomes. Proposals must have the support of the State agency, provide incentives at the point of sale, and include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that could be replicated.

All FINI grant program recipients will be required to participate in a comprehensive FINI program evaluation conducted by an independent evaluator and conduct a self-evaluation of their own project. The applicant shall perform a substantive portion of the project and no more than 50 percent of FINI Projects (FP), FINI Pilot Projects (FPP), and FINI Large Scale Projects (FLSP) as determined by budget expenditures, may be subawarded.

NIFA will allow applicants to indicate in their proposal if they intend to subgrant more than 50% of the award. This deviation will require NIFA approval.

Projects may divide their budget allocations between partners as it fits their work plan. (For additional knowledge or expertise that is not available within the applicant organization, funds for expert consultation may be included in the “All Other Direct Costs” section of the proposed budget.)

When preparing budgets, applicants should limit their request for the recovery of indirect costs to the official negotiated indirect cost rate or the de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC).

Any non-Federal entity that has never received a negotiated indirect cost rate may elect to charge a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). (2 C.F.R. 200.414(f)).

When NIFA is not the cognizant Federal agency. The applicant should use the current negotiated indirect cost rate established by its cognizant Federal agency (the agency that provides the most funds). If awarded, the applicant will be required to produce a negotiated indirect cost rate agreement from the cognizant agency in order to recover indirect costs. Applicants may request (i.e., budget) indirect costs using the lesser of: (a) the negotiated rate; or (b) the maximum statutory rate stated in the RFA, if any. If unable to obtain a negotiated rate from its cognizant agency, the applicant is not permitted indirect cost reimbursement. Rather, the applicant may only be reimbursed for allowable direct costs. Violation of Cost Accounting Standards is not permitted when re-budgeting or charging costs to awards.

When NIFA is the cognizant Federal agency. If the applicant does not have a negotiated rate, and NIFA is the cognizant agency, the applicant must calculate an indirect cost rate in order to request indirect costs. NIFA’s indirect cost website provides several sample indirect cost rate calculations. NIFA’s website is found at: http://nifa.usda.gov/business/indirect_cost_process.html.

During the application process, the applicant is not required to complete the entire indirect cost package identified on NIFA’s website. Rather, the applicant need only calculate an indirect cost rate to serve as a basis for requesting indirect costs. If awarded, the applicant will be required to submit a complete Indirect Cost Proposal (ICP) package, as explained on NIFA’s indirect cost website

In the case of a for-profit entity, the non-Federal share of the award cannot include services of an employee, including salaries paid or expenses covered by the employer.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
Program Reports:

Grantees submit initial project information and annual reports to NIFA's electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects. The details of these reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions. NIFA uses the SF-425, Federal Financial Report to monitor cash. Progress Reports:
Grantees are required to submit initial project information and annual summary reports to NIFA’s electronic, web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submission of project outcomes and public access to information on Federally-funded projects.

The details of these reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions.

In general, the program report include a summary of the overall progress toward project objectives, current problems, or unusual developments, the next year's activities, and any other information that is pertinent to the ongoing project or which may be specified in the terms and conditions of the award. In addition, projections for the upcoming quarter’s program activities, along with any other pertinent information may be included. The Federal Financial Report (SF-425) and a detailed line-item expenditures report should support the reported program activity.

An Annual Performance Report must be submitted within 90 days after the completion of the first year of the project, and annually thereafter during the life of the grant. Generally, the Annual Performance Reports should include a summary of the overall progress toward project objectives, current problems or unusual developments, the next year's activities, and any other information that is pertinent to the ongoing project or which may be specified in the terms and conditions of the award. Expenditure Reports:
The details of the reporting requirements are included in the award terms and conditions.

The Federal Financial Report (SF-425) and a detailed line-item expenditures report should support the program activity reported.

A final Federal Financial Report (SF-425) is due within 90 days of the expiration date of the grant and should be submitted to the Awards Management Division, Office of Grants and Financial Management, at the address listed below, in accordance with instructions contained in 7 CFR 3430.56.


Awards Management Division (AMD)
Office of Grants and Financial Management (OGFM)
National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)
STOP 2271
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20250-2271
Telephone: (202) 401-4986. (Pertinent details regarding Performance Monitoring Reports are provided above.).
Auditing
In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503. In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, Subpart F—Audit Requirements nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more during the non-Federal entity’s fiscal year in Federal awards must have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year in accordance with the provisions of this part. A non-Federal entity that expends less than $750,000 during the non-Federal entity’s fiscal year in Federal awards is exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in § 200.503. Relation to other audit requirements, but records must be available for review or audit by appropriate officials of the Federal agency, pass-through entity, and Government Accountability Office (GAO).

This program is also subject to audit by the cognizant Federal audit agency and the USDA Office of Inspector General.
Records
In accordance with 2 CFR Part 400 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, § 200.333 Retention requirements for records. Grantees shall maintain separate records for each grant to ensure that funds are used for authorized purposes. Grant-related records are subject to inspection during the life of the grant and must be retained at least three (3) years. Records must be retained beyond the three (3) year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.

2 CFR Part 200, Subpart D applies to this program.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
Matching Requirements: Percent: 100.%. This program has a 100% match requirement with non-Federal funds.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
From one (1) to four (4) years.

2 CFR Part 200, Subpart D applies to this program. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
USDA, NIFA, National Program Leader, Institute of Food Safety and Nutrition (IFSN), 1400 Independence Ave., SW STOP 2255, Washington, District of Columbia 20024 Email: Policy@nifa.usda.gov Phone: (202) 720-0740 Fax: (202) 401-4888
Website Address
http://nifa.usda.gov/program/food-insecurity-nutrition-incentive-fini-grant-program
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-0502-0-1-352.
Obligations
(Project Grants) FY 14 $31,500,000; FY 15 est $0; and FY 16 est $18,000,000 - The difference between the appropriation and obligation numbers reflects legislatively authorized set-asides deducted as appropriate, and in some cases the availability of obligational authority from prior years.

NOTES:
(1) Specific computation represents $35,000,000 FY 2014/15 appropriated amount less 10% for administering, monitoring, and evaluating projects.

(2) FINI was appropriated in FY14 as Two-year project (2014-2015).

(3) In FY16 the program will be one-year.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
FINI is a new program authorized in the Agricultural Act of 2014.

Awards will be made for the first time in FY 2015.If minimum or maximum amounts of funding per competitive project grant are established, these will be announced in the program announcement or Request for Application (RFA).
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
The following federal statutes and regulations represent general administrative requirements which apply to NIFA federal assistance programs. These include, but are not limited to the ones listed below.

2 CFR Part 25 - Universal Identifier and Central Contractor Registration

2 CFR Part 170 - Reporting Subaward and Executive Compensation Information

2 CFR Part 175 - Award Term for Trafficking in Persons

2 CFR Part 180 and Part 417 - OMB Guidelines to Agencies on Government-Wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and USDA Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension

2 CFR Part 182 - Governmentwide Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)

2 CFR Part 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

2 CFR Part 400 – USDA implementation of 2 CFR Part 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards

2 CFR Part 415 - General Program Administrative Regulations

2 CFR Part 416 – USDA General Program Administrative Regulations for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments

2 CFR Part 417 - Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension

2 CFR Part 418 - New Restrictions on Lobbying

2 CFR Part 421 - Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance)

2 CFR Part 422—Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research; Research Misconduct.

7 CFR Part 1, subpart A—USDA implementation of the Freedom of Information Act and 7 CFR Part 3404, Public Information.

7 CFR Part 1c—USDA Implementation of the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects

7 CFR Part 3—USDA implementation of OMB Circular No. A-129 regarding debt collection

7 CFR Part 15, subpart A—USDA implementation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended

7 CFR Part 331 and 9 CFR Part 121—USDA implementation of the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act of 2002

7 CFR Part 3407—USDA procedures to implement the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended

7 CFR Part 3418—Stakeholder Input Requirements for Recipients of Agricultural Research, Education, and Extension Formula Funds

7 CFR Part 3419—Matching Funds Requirement for Agricultural Research and Extension Formula Funds at 1890 Land–Grant Institutions, Including Tuskegee University, and at 1862 Land–Grant Institutions in Insular Areas

7 CFR Part 3430—Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Financial Assistance Programs--General Award Administrative Provisions

7 CFR Part 3434—Hispanic–Serving Agricultural Colleges and Universities Certification Process

29 U.S.C. 794 (section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973) and 7 CFR Part 15b (USDA implementation of statute) —prohibiting discrimination based upon physical or mental handicap in federally-assisted programs

35 U.S.C. 200 et seq. —Bayh Dole Act, controlling allocation of rights to inventions made by employees of small business firms and domestic nonprofit organizations, including universities, in federally-assisted programs (implementing regulations are contained in 37 CFR Part 401)

44 U.S.C. 3551-3558 (Pub. L. 113–283) - Federal Information Security Modernization Act of 2014 (FISMA). Applies to awardees if it will collect, store, process, transmit, or use information on behalf of NIFA.

Executive Order 13513, Federal Leadership on Reducing Text Messaging while Driving (Oct. 1, 2009).

NIFA Federal Assistance Policy Guide—a compendium of basic NIFA policies and procedures that apply to all NIFA awards, unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary.

In addition, the following represent Program-Specific requirements:

7 CFR Part 3400 – Special Research Grants Program (for CFDA 10.200)

7 CFR Part 3401—Rangeland Research Grants Program (CFDA 10.200)

7 CFR Part 3402—Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program (CFDA 10.210).

7 CFR Part 3403—Small Business Innovation Research Grants Program (CFDA 10.212)

7 CFR Part 3405—Higher Education Challenge Grants Program (CFDA 10.217)

7 CFR Part 3406—1890 Institution Capacity Building Grants Program (CFDA 10.216)

7 CFR Part 3415 – Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (CFDA 10.219)

7 CFR Part 3431—Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (CFDA 10.313)


Examples of Funded Projects
Fiscal Year 2014: For FY 2014:
Not applicable. Program was not yet funded. Fiscal Year 2015: For FY 2015:
Information is not yet available. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date. Fiscal Year 2016: For FY 2016:
Information is not yet available. Pertinent details to be provided by Program at a future date.

 


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