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.

Related Programs10.225 Community Food Projects; 10.551 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.



Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

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.



Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Eligible entities include governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Eligible entities include governmental agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Credentials/Documentation

A Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number must be obtained. A DUNS number is a unique number that identifies an organization. If the grantee s organization does not have a DUNS number, the grantee should call the special Dun & Bradstreet hotline at 1-866-705-5711 to receive one free of charge. Please note, individual proprietorships (i.e. farmers, ranchers) can request and receive a DUNS number, but must register with Grants.gov as an organization, not as an individual.

Registration with Central Contractor Registry (CCR) is required - if the grantee s organization is not already registered, identify the primary contact who should register for the organization. When the grantee registers with CCR, the grantee s organization will be required to designate an e-Business Point of Contact (e-Business POC). The e-Business POC authorizes individuals to submit grant applications on behalf of the organization and creates a special password called a Marketing Partner ID Number (M-PIN) to verify individuals authorized to submit grant applications for the organization. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

All Requests for Applications (RFAs) are published on the Agency s website and Grants.gov.

Applicants must complete the Grants.gov registration process.

Please see the following Grants.gov link for more information: http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.



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 Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applications should be submitted as outlined in the RFA. Applications must follow the instructions provided per Grants.Gov and in the Agency guide to submitting applications via Grants.gov.

Award Procedures

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. 1613) 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.

Deadlines

Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.

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).

Range of Approval/Disapproval 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://www.nifa.usda.gov/
http://www.grants.gov

From 30 to 180 days. Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA) each fiscal year.

Appeals

None.

Renewals

Specific details are provided in the Request for Applications (RFA).

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. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

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.

No cash reports are required.

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.

Performance Monitoring:
Grantees are required to submit initial project information, quarterly, and annual summary reports to NIFA s electronic, Web-based inventory system that facilitates both grantee submissions 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.

Audits

In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Records

In accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and other Non-profit Organizations [2 CFR 215, Subpart C, Section 215.53, (OMB Circular A-110)] 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-year period if litigation is pending or audit findings have not been resolved.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-0502-0-1-352.

Obigations

(Project Grants) FY 13 $0; FY 14 est $31,500,000; and FY 15 est $0 - 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.

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

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

Several federal statutes and regulations apply to grant applications considered for review and to project grants awarded under this program. These include, but are not limited to:
2 CFR Part 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.
2 CFR Part 180 And Part 417 - OMB Guidelines To Agencies On Government-Wide Debarment and Suspension (Nonprocurement) and USDA Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension
7 CFR Part 1c-USDA Implementation of the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects.
7 CFR 1.1-USDA Implementation of Freedom of Information Act.
7 CFR Part 3-USDA Implementation of OMB Circular A-129 Regarding Debt Collection.
7 CFR Part 15, Subpart A-USDA Implementation Of Title Vi Of The Civil Rights Act Of 1964.
7 CFR Part 3018-USDA Implementation of New Restrictions on Lobbying.
7 CFR Part 3407-NIFA Procedures to Implement the National Environmental Policy Act.
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).

Information Contacts

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 Phone: (202) 720-0740 Fax: (202) 401-4888

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

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).



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