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Foodinsecurity

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Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program 
 

 
 
 
 
2014/2015 Request for Applications (RFA) 
 
 
 
APPLICATION DEADLINE: December 15, 2014 
 
ELIGIBILITY:  See Part III, RFA 
 
 
  
usda_nifa_h_cmyk_300
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE; U.S. DEPARTMENT AGRICULTURE 
 
Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program 
 
INITIAL ANNOUNCEMENT 
 
CATALOG FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE: This program listed the Catalog Federal Domestic Assistance under 10.331. 
 
DATES: Applications must received 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time December 15, 2014. Applications received after this deadline will normally not considered for funding (see Part IV, this RFA). Comments regarding this request for applications (RFA) are requested within months from the issuance this notice. Comments received after that date will considered the extent practicable. 
 
STAKEHOLDER INPUT: The National Institute Food and Agriculture (NIFA) seeks your comments about this RFA. will consider the comments when develop the next RFA for the program, applicable, and well use them meet the requirements section 103(c)(2) the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act 1998 U.S.C. 7613(c)(2)). Submit written stakeholder comments the deadline set forth the DATES portion this Notice to: Policy and Oversight Division; Office Grants and Financial Management; National Institute Food and Agriculture; USDA; STOP 2299; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, 20250-2299; via e-mail to: Policy@nifa.usda.gov.  (This e-mail address intended only for receiving comments regarding this RFA and not requesting information forms.) your comments, please state that you are responding the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program RFA.  
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: NIFA requests applications for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program for fiscal years 2014 and 2015, combined, support projects increase the purchase fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) providing incentives the point purchase. Applications are requested each the following three categories: (1) FINI Pilot Projects (awards not exceed total $100,000 over one year); (2) Multi-year, community-based FINI Projects (awards not exceed total $500,000 over more than four years); and (3) Multi-year, FINI Large-Scale Projects (awards $500,000 more over more than four years).  Grantees will expected conduct project assessment and cooperate with and contribute independent evaluation determine the relative effectiveness the grant program achieving the legislative goals increasing fruit and vegetable purchases and improving the nutrition and health status participating households (Food, Conservation, and Energy Act 2008,  4405(b)(4)(A)).  NIFA anticipates the amount available for grants under this program fiscal years 2014 and 2015 will total $31.5 million. 
 
This notice identifies the objectives for FINI grant program projects, the eligibility criteria for projects and applicants, and the application forms and associated instructions needed apply for FINI grant. webinar reviewing these RFA proposal and match requirements will held October 2014 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time for potential applicants.  
 The webinar can accessed here: http://nifa-connect.nifa.usda.gov/finip/. The webinar will recorded and posted the FINI webpage, accessible here: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/cfp/cfp.html.    
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Table Contents 
 
PART IFUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION .............................................................. Legislative Authority and Background ................................................................................... Purpose and Priorities ............................................................................................................. Program Area Description ...................................................................................................... 
 
PART IIAWARD INFORMATION......................................................................................... Available Funding ................................................................................................................ Types Applications ........................................................................................................... Project Types ........................................................................................................................ 
 
PART IIIELIGIBILITY INFORMATION ............................................................................... Eligible Applicants ............................................................................................................... Cost Sharing Matching ..................................................................................................... 
 
PART IVAPPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION ......................................... Electronic Application Package ............................................................................................ Content and Form Application Submission...................................................................... Submission Dates and Times ................................................................................................ Funding Restrictions ............................................................................................................. Other Submission Requirements ........................................................................................... 
 
PART VAPPLICATION REVIEW REQUIREMENTS .......................................................... General .................................................................................................................................. Evaluation Criteria ................................................................................................................ Conflicts Interest and Confidentiality............................................................................... Organizational Management Information ............................................................................. Application Disposition ........................................................................................................ 
 
PART VIAWARD ADMINISTRATION ................................................................................ General .................................................................................................................................. Award Notice ........................................................................................................................ Administrative and National Policy Requirements ............................................................... Expected Program Outputs and Reporting Requirements .................................................... 
 
PART VIIAGENCY CONTACT ............................................................................................. 
 
PART VIIIOTHER INFORMATION ...................................................................................... Access Review Information .............................................................................................. Use Funds; Changes ......................................................................................................... Confidential Aspects Applications and Awards ............................................................... Regulatory Information ........................................................................................................ Definitions ............................................................................................................................. 
 

 PART IFUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION Legislative Authority and Background 
 
The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grants Program authorized section 4208 the Agricultural Act 2014, which amends section 4405 the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act 2008 (FCEA) U.S.C. 7517). The authority administer this program was delegated the Director NIFA through the Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics (REE). See 44101 (July 30, 2014), available http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-30/pdf/2014-17352.pdf. 2014 and 2015 combined, anticipated that $31,500,000 will available for grants under this program. Purpose and Priorities  
 
The primary goal the FINI grants program fund and evaluate projects intended increase the purchase fruits and vegetables low-income consumers participating [SNAP] providing incentives the point purchase (FCEA,  4405(b)(2)(A)(ii)(II)). For FINI grants, NIFA defines fruits and vegetables any variety fresh, canned, dried, frozen whole cut fruits and vegetables without added sugars, fats, oils, and salt (i.e. sodium).  The program will test strategies that could contribute our understanding how best increase the purchase fruits and vegetables Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants inform future efforts, and develop effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies. 
 
The Act requires the Secretary conduct independent evaluation funded projects, measure the impact projects on: improving the nutrition and health status participating households receiving incentives and increasing fruit and vegetable purchases participating households.   
 
Incentivizing purchases fruits and vegetables increases their affordability and consumption.  For example, USDA recently completed evaluation the Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP), which investigated the impact making fruits and vegetables more affordable SNAP participants.  Under HIP, SNAP households received cents every SNAP dollar they spent targeted fruits and vegetables participating SNAP-authorized retailers including large supermarkets, grocery stores and farmers markets.  This pilot operated Hampden County between November 2011 and December 2012. rigorous evaluation showed that HIP significantly increased the consumption targeted fruits and vegetables and this increased consumption was the order about one quarter cup per day.  The final evaluation report available online http://www.fns.usda.gov/ops/research-and-analysis. 
 
All FINI projects must (1) have the support the State agency responsible for the administration SNAP; (2) increase the purchase fruits and vegetables low-income consumers participating SNAP providing incentives the point purchase; (3) operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and compliance with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements; (4) agree participate the FINI comprehensive program evaluation; (5) ensure that the same terms and conditions apply purchases made individuals with SNAP benefits and with incentives under the FINI grants program apply purchases made individuals who are not members households receiving benefits provided C.F.R. 278.2(b); and (6) include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may replicated other States and communities. reviewing applications submitted response this RFA, and depending the type FINI project (as described further detail Part C.1, C.2, and C.3), NIFA will give priority projects that: 
 
 Maximize the share funds used for direct incentives participants; 

 Test innovative promising strategies that would contribute our understanding how best increase the purchase fruits and vegetables SNAP participants, that would inform future efforts; 

 Develop innovative improved benefit redemption systems that could replicated scaled; 

 Use direct-to-consumer sales marketing; 

 Demonstrate track record designing and implementing successful nutrition incentive programs that connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers;  

 Provide locally regionally produced fruits and vegetables (as defined Subpart VIII (E) this document), especially culturally appropriate fruits and vegetables for the target audience; and  

 Are located underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities (see Part VIII, for more information). 

 
FINI projects present the opportunity bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts the food system and foster understanding how they might improve the nutrition and health status participating households receiving incentives purchase fruits and vegetables. FINI projects are also intended address the development effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption that are replicable others.   
 
The FINI RFA directly aligns with the Research, Education, and Economics Action Plan and specifically addresses Goal Nutrition and Childhood Obesity strengthening established strategic partnerships and strengthening implementation practices encourage healthy eating and physical activity the individual and community levels, focusing high-risk groups and also advances Strategic Goal 4.2 the USDA Strategic Plan, which Promote Healthy Diet and Physical Activity Behaviors. Program Area Description  
NIFA soliciting applications for three (3) types grants: (1) FINI Pilot Projects (FPP); (2) FINI Projects (FP); and (3) FINI Large Scale Projects (FLSP). FINI Pilot Projects (FPP)    
Funding Level: Awards not exceed $100,000.  
Period Performance: Project period not exceed one year. 
Program Code: FPP 
 
FINI Pilot Projects (FPP) support the development projects with infusion federal dollars pilot innovative strategies increase the purchase fruits and vegetables (as defined Subpart VIII (E) this document) low-income consumers participating the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) providing incentives the point purchase.  FPPs must have the support the state SNAP agency, operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and comply with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements. FPPs are aimed new entrants seeking funding for project the early stages incentive program development. The project should designed create community-based food incentive projects with objectives, activities, and outcomes that are alignment with the FINI grants programs primary goals.  Preference will given pilot projects that include one more the following:  
 
(i) Maximize the share funds used for direct incentives participants;  

(ii) Test innovative promising strategies that would contribute our understanding how best increase the purchase fruits and vegetables SNAP participants, inform future efforts;  

(iii) Develop innovative improved benefit redemption systems that could replicated scaled; 

(iv) Use direct-to-consumer sales marketing; 

(v) Provide locally regionally produced fruits and vegetables, especially culturally appropriate fruits and vegetables for the target audience;  and/or 

 
(iv)   Are located underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities. 
 
Examples FPPs include, but are not limited to, innovative strategies working point purchase with SNAP authorized retailers, including food stores, market stands,  farmers markets, community supported agriculture programs (CSAs), marketing and consumer cooperatives, and other SNAP authorized retailers  
 
Project Self-Evaluation.  All projects must involve SNAP participants. All FPPs must submit project proposal that includes method evaluating the success the program developing viable project. Because FINI Pilot Projects are the earliest stages development and would not offer fair test effectiveness, they will only required submit limited information and data for the comprehensive program evaluation, that will inform the Department potential new strategies and promising new programs consider future funding cycles. FPP grantees will required provide their self-assessment data the independent evaluation contractor. Project assessments must follow USDA guidelines ensure appropriate level comparability methods, outcomes, and measures. FINI Projects (FP) 
Funding Level: Awards not exceed $500,000.  
Period Performance: Project period not exceed four (4) years 
Program Code: FIP 
FINI Projects (FP) support the development and evaluation projects increase the purchase fruits and vegetables (as defined Subpart VIII (E) this document) low-income consumers participating SNAP providing incentives the point purchase.  The projects will test strategies that could increase the purchase fruits and vegetables SNAP participants inform future efforts, and develop effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies.  
 
FPs should designed create support local community-based food projects with objectives, activities, and outcomes that are alignment with the FINI grants programs primary goals. FP(s) are aimed mid-sized groups developing incentive programs the local state level; organizations this category are typically not new implementing such programs, although projects are required expand the breadth, scope reach these programs, rather than supplant current program resources. FPs are not the pilot stages development and should have established relationships with necessary partners and collaborators. FPs must have the support the state SNAP agency, operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and comply with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements.  Preference will given projects that include one more the following:  
 
(i) Maximize the share funds used for direct incentives participants;  

(ii) Test innovative promising strategies that would contribute our understanding how best increase the purchase fruits and vegetables SNAP participants, inform future efforts;  

(iii) Develop innovative improved benefit redemption systems that could replicated scaled; 

(iv) Use direct-to-consumer sales marketing; 

(v) Demonstrate track record designing and implementing successful nutrition   incentive programs that connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers;  

(vi) Provide locally regionally produced fruits and vegetables, especially culturally appropriate fruits and vegetables for the target audience; and/or 

 
(v) Are located underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities. 
 
Examples FPs include, but are not limited to, innovative strategies working point purchase with SNAP authorized retailers, including food stores, market stands,  farmers markets, CSAs, marketing and consumer cooperatives, and other SNAP authorized retailers.  
 
Project Self-Evaluation. All FPs must involve SNAP participants and include evaluation whether the project met its goals and objectives. Project evaluations must follow USDA guidelines ensure appropriate level comparability methods, outcomes, and measures. All FPs will also required cooperate with and contribute independent evaluation contractor conducting the comprehensive program evaluation. FINI Large Scale Projects (FLSP) 
Funding Level: Awards $500,000 greater 
Period Performance: Project period not exceed four (4) years 
Program Code: FLSP 
 
The primary purpose the FINI Large Scale Projects (FLSP) develop and evaluate projects increase the purchase fruits and vegetables (as defined subpart VIII (E) this document) low-income consumers participating SNAP providing incentives the point purchase, using effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies.  The projects will test strategies that could contribute our understanding how best increase the purchase fruits and vegetables SNAP participants inform future efforts.  
 
FLSP should designed create support multi-county, State-wide and regional incentive programs. FLSP should coordinated food projects with objectives, activities, and outcomes that align with the FINI grants programs primary goals. Projects must have the support the state SNAP agency, operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and comply with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements.  Projects are required expand the breadth, scope reach these programs, rather than supplant current program resources. Preference will given projects that include one more the following:  
 
(i) Maximize the share funds used for direct incentives participants;  

(ii) Test innovative promising strategies that would contribute our understanding how best increase the purchase fruits and vegetables SNAP participants, inform future efforts;  

(iii) Develop innovative improved benefit redemption systems that could replicated scaled; 

(iv) Use direct-to-consumer sales marketing; 

(v) Demonstrate track record designing and implementing successful nutrition   incentive programs that connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers;  

(vi) Provide locally regionally produced fruits and vegetables, especially culturally appropriate fruits and vegetables for the target audience; and/or 

 
(vi) Are located underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities. 

 
FINI Large Scale Projects include, but are not limited to, innovative strategies working point purchase with SNAP authorized retailers, including food stores, market stands,  farmers markets, CSAs, marketing and consumer cooperatives, and other SNAP authorized retailers.  
 
Project Self-Evaluation. All projects must involve SNAP participants and include evaluation whether the project met its goals and objectives. Project evaluations must follow USDA guidelines ensure appropriate level comparability methods, outcomes, and measures. discussed below, higher level rigor will expected for the FSLP evaluations.  All FLSPs will also required cooperate with and contribute independent evaluation contractor conducting the comprehensive program evaluation.  
 
PART IIAWARD INFORMATION Available Funding 
 
NIFA anticipates the amount available for grants for this program 2014 and 2015, combined, will $31.5 million. NIFA does not commit fund any particular application make specific number awards any project type. 
 
Awards issued result this RFA will have designated the Automated Standard Applications for Payment System (ASAP), operated the Department Treasurys Financial Management Service, the payment system for funds.  For more information see http://www.nifa.usda.gov/business/method_of_payment.html.  
 
Awardees are not prohibited from applying for future funding opportunities, but are not guaranteed future funding. Types Applications response this RFA, you may only submit new application the FINI grants program. 
 
New application. new application project application that has not been previously submitted the FINI grants program. will review all new applications competitively, using the selection process and evaluation criteria described Part VApplication Review Requirements. Project Types 
 
Applications will accepted for three (3) project types: (1) FINI Pilot Projects; (2) FINI Projects; and (3) FINI Large-Scale Projects. The FINI grants program will only accept one application across the three project types per project team under this RFA. FINI Pilot Projects (FPP)  
FPPs are aimed new entrants seeking funding for project the early stages incentive program development. Applicants should request budget commensurate with the proposed project. single FINI Pilot project (FPP) award shall exceed $100,000 for the total project period. The maximum FINI Pilot Project award period one year.  Applications that exceed the budgetary guidelines will not reviewed. All FPP awards will made the merit the proposed project, with budgets considered only after the merits the project have been determined. NIFA reserves the right negotiate final budgets with successful applicants. FINI Projects (FP) 
 
FINI Projects are aimed mid-sized groups developing incentive programs the local state level. Applicants should request budget and project period commensurate with the proposed project. proposals should include budget more than $500,000 for project period not exceed four years. Proposal budgets may less than $500,000 and/or proposed project period less than four years.  Applications that exceed budgetary guidelines will not reviewed. 
 
All FINI awards will made based the merit the proposed project with budgets considered only after the merits the project have been determined. NIFA reserves the right negotiate final budgets with successful applicants. FINI Large Scale Projects (FLSP) 
 
FLSPs are aimed groups developing multi-county, state, and regional incentive programs with the largest target audience all FINI projects. Applicants should request budget and project period commensurate with the proposed project. FLSP proposals should include budget $500,000 more for project period not exceed four years. Applicants may submit proposed project period less than four years.   All FINI awards will made based the merit the proposed project with budgets considered only after the merits the project have been determined. NIFA reserves the right negotiate final budgets with successful applicants.  
 
 
 
 
 
 
PART IIIELIGIBILITY INFORMATION Eligible Applicants FPP, FP, FLSP Eligible Entity  

 
Eligibility receive this grant limited government agencies and non-profit organizations (FCEA,  4405(b)(2)(A)).   Eligible government agencies and non-profit organizations may include: emergency feeding organization; agricultural cooperative; producer network association; community health organization; public benefit corporation; economic development corporation; farmers market; community-supported agriculture program; buying club; SNAP-authorized retailer; and State, local, tribal agency.   All applicants must demonstrate their application that they are government agency non-profit organization. eligible receive FPP, FP, FLSP grant, applicants must propose projects that:  (1) have the support the State SNAP agency; (2) would increase the purchase fruits and vegetables low-income consumers participating SNAP providing incentives the point purchase; (3) operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and comply with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements; (4) agree participate the FINI comprehensive program evaluation; (5) ensure that the same terms and conditions apply purchases made individuals with SNAP benefits and with incentives under the FINI grants program apply purchases made individuals who are not members households receiving benefits provided C.F.R. 278.2(b); and (6) include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may replicated other States and communities. addition, applicants must meet the following requirements receive FPP, FP, FLSP grant: (1) have experience (i)   efforts reduce food insecurity the community, including food distribution, improving access services, coordinating services and programs; (ii) experience with the SNAP program; (2) demonstrate competency implement project, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation; (3) secure the commitment the State SNAP agency cooperate with the project; and (4) possess demonstrated willingness share information with researchers, evaluators (including the independent evaluator for the program), practitioners, and other interested parties, including plan for dissemination results stakeholders.   
 
Projects are encouraged provide employees with important job skills.  Additionally, applicants are encouraged have experience the following areas:  (i) community food work, particularly concerning small and medium-size farms, including the provision food people low-income communities and the development new markets low-income communities for agricultural producers; and (ii) job training and business development activities for food-related activities low-income communities. Partners and Collaborators  

 
Applicants for FPP, FP, and FLSP awards are encouraged seek and create partnerships with public private, non-profit for-profit entities, including links with academic institutions (including minority-serving colleges and universities) and/or other appropriate professionals; community-based organizations; local government entities; Promise Zone lead applicant/organization implementation partners; and StrikeForce area coordinators and/or partnering entities for the purposes providing additional resources and strengthening under-resourced communities.  Only the applicant must meet the requirements specified above for grant eligibility. Project partners and collaborators need not meet the eligibility requirements. When planning collaborations, see Part III, Award recipients may subcontract organizations not eligible apply provided such organizations are necessary for the successful completion the project. See Part IV, D., Funding Restrictions.  
 
Fiscal Agent: institution/organization cannot accept Federal funds directly, letter must included the application stating that the event the application results award, the award funds must administered through fiscal agent organization their behalf. This agent must identified the letter from the applicant and the letter must countersigned authorized representative the fiscal agent organization. The letter should include the fiscal agents point contact, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. This letter included attachment Field 12, Other Attachments (Part IV.B.3.c.) the application. the event application recommended for funding, NIFA will request that both the applicant institution/organization and the fiscal agent organization submit complete management information (see Part D.). Include documents showing the organizations non-profit status here. Cost Sharing Matching 
 
FPP, FP, and FLSP applicants MUST provide matching contributions dollar-for-dollar basis for all federal funds awarded. Match must documented for all project years the time the application submitted. FPP, FP, and FLSP grantees may meet the match requirement through cash and/or in-kind contributions, including third-party in-kind contributions fairly evaluated, including facilities, equipment, services.  
 
The non-federal share the funding may come from state government, local government, private sources.  Federal money cannot used match. Example qualifying matching contributions may include direct costs such as: rent for office space used exclusively for the funded project; duplication postage costs; and staff time from entity other than the applicant for job training nutrition education.  
 
Note that applicant partners with for-profit entity, the non-Federal share that required provided the applicant may not include the services employee that for-profit entity, including salaries expenses covered that employer.  (FCEA,  4405(b)(1)(c)(ii)).PART IVAPPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION Electronic Application Package 
 
Only electronic applications may submitted via Grants.gov NIFA response this RFA. urge you submit early the Grants.gov system.  For overview the Grants.gov application process see http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/grant-application-process.html.   
New Users Grants.gov 
 
Prior preparing application, recommend that the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) first contact Authorized Representative (AR, also referred Authorized Organizational Representative AOR) determine the organization prepared submit electronic applications through Grants.gov. not (e.g., the institution/organization new the electronic grant application process through Grants.gov), then the one-time registration process must completed PRIOR submitting application. can take long weeks complete the registration process critical begin soon possible. such situations, the should Register the top right corner the Grants.gov web page (or http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html) for information registering the institution/organization with Grants.gov.  Part II.1. the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide contains detailed information regarding the registration process. Refer item below locate the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide. 
 
Important: Listed below are the steps necessary submit application through Grants.gov. More information about these steps available http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp 
 
Step Obtain your organizations Data Universal Number system (DUNS) number DUNS number unique number that identifies organization. has been adopted the Federal government help track how Federal grant money distributed. your organization does not have DUNS number, call the special Dun Bradstreet hotline 1-866-705-5711 receive one free charge, visit the Dun Bradstreet website at: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform/displayHomePage.do.  You will receive DUNS number within several days your request. Please note, individual proprietorships (i.e. farmers, ranchers) can request and receive DUNS number, but must register with Grants.gov organization, not individual. 
 
Step Register your organization with the System for Award Management (SAM) 
SAM combining federal procurement systems and the Catalog Federal Domestic Assistance into one new system. This consolidation being done phases. The first phase SAM includes the consolidated capabilities CCR/FEDREG, ORCA, and EPLS. There fee register for this site. Entities may register cost directly from the https://staging.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/ 
 
 
 
Steps Obtain Application Package Materials receive application materials: You must download and install version Adobe Reader compatible with Grants.gov access, complete, and submit applications.  For basic system requirements and download instructions, see http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/support/technical-support/software/adobe-reader-compatibility.html.  Grants.gov has test package that will help you determine whether your current version Adobe Reader compatible. obtain the application package from Grants.gov, http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.  Under Step click Download Grant Application Package, and enter the funding opportunity number 

USDA-NIFA-FINI-004695 the appropriate box and click Download Package.  From the search results, click Download access the application package.   
 
Contained within the application package the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide.  This guide contains introduction and general Grants.gov instructions, information about how use Grant Application Package Grants.gov, and instructions how complete the application forms. you require assistance access the application package (e.g., downloading navigating Adobe forms) submitting the application, refer resources available the Grants.gov website (http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-resources.html).  Grants.gov assistance also available at:  
Grants.gov customer support 
 800-518-4726 Toll-Free 606-545-5035 
Business Hours: hours day, days week. Closed federal holidays. 
 Email: support@grants.gov 
Grants.gov iPortal (see https://grants-portal.psc.gov/Welcome.aspx?pt=Grants): Top requested help topics (FAQs), Searchable knowledge base, self-service ticketing and ticket status, and live web chat (available a.m. p.m. ET). Get help now!   Have the following information available when contacting Grants.gov: 
 Funding Opportunity Number (FON) 

 Name agency you are applying 

 Specific area concern 

 
See http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/electronic.html for additional resources for applying electronically. Content and Form Application Submission 
 
You should prepare electronic applications following Parts and the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide.  This guide part the corresponding application package (see Section this Part).  The following additional information needed prepare application response this RFA. there discrepancy between the two documents, the information contained this RFA overriding. 
 
Note the attachment requirements (e.g., PDF) Part III section the guide. ANY PROPOSALS THAT ARE NON-COMPLIANT WITH THE REQUIREMENTS (e.g., content format, PDF file format, file name restrictions, and password protected files) WILL RISK BEING EXCLUDED FROM NIFA REVIEW.  Grants.gov does not check for NIFA required attachments that attachments are PDF format; see Part III section 6.1 the guide for how check the manifest submitted files.  Partial applications will excluded from NIFA review. will accept subsequent submissions application until close business the closing date the RFA (see Part 2.1 the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide for further information). 
 
Grants.gov provides online tools assist you not own PDF-generating software.  You will find PDF conversion software http://test.grants.gov/web/grants/support/technical-support/software/pdf-conversion-software.html.  
 
For any questions related the preparation application, review the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide and the applicable RFA. assistance still needed for preparing application forms content, contact: 
 Email: electronic@nifa.usda.gov  

 Phone: 202-401-5048 

 Business hours: Monday through Friday, a.m.  p.m. ET, excluding federal holidays. 424 RR Cover Sheet 
Information related the questions this form dealt with detail Part the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide. 424 RR Project/Performance Site Location(s) 
Information related the questions this form dealt with detail Part the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide. RR Other Project Information Form  
Information related the questions this form dealt with detail Part the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide.  Field Project Summary/Abstract.  The summary should also include the relevance the project the goals the FINI grants program.  See Part 4.7 NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide for further instructions and link suggested template. Field Project Narrative.    
 
NOTE: The Project Narrative shall not exceed pages written text regardless whether single- double-spaced and additional pages for figures and tables. have established this maximum (15 pages) ensure fair and equitable competition. The Project Narrative must include all the following:  FINI Pilot Projects, FINI Projects, and FINI Large Scale Projects 
The Project Narrative for FINI Pilot Projects (FPPs), FINI Projects (FPs), and FINI Large Scale Projects (FLSPs) must include the headings below bold followed the response for each the points noted below.  
 
(a) The Community Involved the Project and the Needs Addressed. Identify and succinctly describe the critical elements and needs the local food economy food system, including demographics, income, and geographic characteristics the area community served and how the community might benefit from incentive project. Beyond recitation statistics, applications should describe local capabilities and assets, such those identified community food assessment, and involvement low-income communities the context project activities and operations.  
 
Most relevant explanation why the applicant and its partners selected the activities proposed the application. Note the main targets beneficiaries the project and the community needs and opportunities being addressed. The needs addressed should directly relate project goals and objectives described below. recommended that this section more than one and one-half page.  
 
(b) The Organizations and Communities Involved the Project. List the organizations and communities involved carrying out the proposed project. Include description the relevant experience each community group organization, including the applicant organization that will involved, and any related project history. Proposals should demonstrate community linkages and coalitions appropriate. The qualifications staff involved with the proposed project and/or organizational leadership should reflect the expertise necessary carry out the proposed project activities similar types activities. Specify the degree which paid and volunteer staff will utilized. Experience and connections with the community will considered important academic professional credentials this regard. the extent practicable ensure that low-income residents are involved planning; particular, describe how the communities being served  particularly the targeted residents and organizations have been will involved planning the project and will engaged its implementation and evaluation process.  Please reference planning activities, assessments, meetings, other activities that demonstrate community input into key decision-making. 
 
Letters from the key organizations involved the project, acknowledging their support and contributions, should provided. limited number additional support letters  such those from farmers partner organizations, where appropriate, are encouraged provide evidence broad community involvement both planning and future decision-making.  All support letters should attached Field 12, Other Attachments (See Part IV, c., below, Key Organization Support). 
 
(c) Project Goals and Intended Outcomes.  List the goals and intended outcomes the project, and how they contribute the primary goal the FINI grants program.  Outcomes should describe specific changes results that will occur consequence the project and that will constitute success for the initiative, including general description the range fruits and vegetables that would incentivized (such as, but not limited to, fresh, canned, dried forms). Outcomes should specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely, describe what will accomplished, and who and how many people, e.g., residents, participants, will benefit. recommended that this section more than two pages. 
 
(d) Activities Achieve the Goals.  Discuss how the goals and intended outcomes will achieved and include how the proposed activities comply with the rules and regulations the SNAP program. Discuss how the proposed project outcomes will realized providing systematic description how the most important steps milestones will accomplished. Particular attention should given existing technical capabilities and any technical solutions that must developed for goals, objectives, and outcomes achieved. addition these descriptions, recommended that table three pages provided with implementation details for these activities, including:  (a) specific steps and achievements planning, implementing, and evaluating; (b) timetables for milestones, and, relevant; (c) expected numbers participants involved each step the process.  Describe how the proposed project will develop effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may replicated and scaled other States and communities the future. 
 
(e) Relationship Program Objectives.  Discuss how the project and its proposed outcomes will address the objectives the FINI grants program described Part I.,  Discuss the specific changes that will result among participants the communities served that address these FINI grants program priorities. recommended that this section more than one page. 
 
(f) Evaluation.  Evaluation critical purpose the FINI grant program. testing and evaluating various methods and technologies increase the fruit and vegetable purchases and improving the nutrition and health status participating households through the FINI grant program, NIFA seeks determine best practices, and the relative effectiveness various incentive programs well benefit redemption methods.  The evaluation requirements the FINI grant program, therefore, include both process (developing and monitoring indicators progress towards objectives) and outcomes.  Recognizing that FINI projects are likely vary substantially scale and maturity, and that grantees are likely vary considerably evaluation capacity and expertise, the evaluation requirements differ for each the three grant categories. The FINI grant program requires project self-evaluation each grantee and participation the program evaluation conducted the independent evaluator.  
 
All FINI Pilot Projects (FPP) must include process analysis, self-assessment their success developing viable project. FPPs will document the process, challenges, and success implementation and operations.  Because these projects are the earliest stages development that not offer fair test their potential effectiveness, limited information will reported the independent evaluator. FPPs must provide preliminary results their self-assessment the annual report NIFA and the independent evaluation contractor. 
 
All FINI Projects (FP) must include process analysis, self-assessment their success developing and operating viable project.  FPs will document the process, challenges, and success implementation and operations.  The process assessment should contain enough timely information over the course the project improve program outcomes.  FPs must provide preliminary results their self-assessment the annual report NIFA and the independent evaluator. addition, because their expected scope, FPs will required cooperate with the independent evaluator. 
 
All FINI Large-Scale Projects (FLSP) must include (1) process assessment that documents the process, challenges, and success implementation and operations and (2) outcome assessment that documents the projects effectiveness increasing fruit and vegetable purchases among SNAP participants.  The process assessment should contain enough timely information over the course the project measure program outcomes.  Preliminary results shall included the annual report NIFA and the independent evaluation contractor.  Outcome self-assessments must follow guidelines developed the independent evaluation contractor collaboration with grantees ensure appropriate level comparability methods, outcomes, and measures. addition, because their expected scale and maturity, FLSPs will required cooperate with the independent evaluator. 
 
Project Type 
 Project Self-Evaluation 
 Comprehensive Program Evaluation (by independent evaluator) 
 
FPP 
 Process evaluation 
  Required participate 

 Participation includes providing self-assessment information independent evaluator. 
 Process evaluation 
  Required participate  

 Contribute minimum data set 

 Collaborate with independent evaluator identify comparison sites  

 
FLSP 
 Rigorous self-evaluation (process and outcome) 
  Required participate  

 Contribute minimum data set 

 Collaborate with independent evaluator identify comparison sites 

 

 
Comprehensive FINI Program Evaluation (by independent evaluator). Although the specifications for the independent evaluation are development simultaneously with this solicitation, expected based cluster evaluation model that builds the collaboration and coordination individual project assessments and overall program evaluation. expected consist four components: process analysis describe project implementation and support future replication successful approaches, outcome analysis assess the effectiveness each and FSLP, comparative analysis integrate results across sites and approaches, attempting answer the question what works best (and when where), and technical assistance support consistent implementation evaluation protocols. 
 
USDA has determined that comparison group design offers the best balance between the statutory requirement use rigorous methodologies capable producing scientifically valid information while accommodating the limited administrative and evaluation capacities potential FPs and FSLPs (FPPs have limited role the independent evaluation).  This quasi-experimental approach uses comparison site  such neighborhood across town group SNAP participants who are not offered the nutrition incentive  baseline assess the effect offering incentive.  Outcomes for each group (intervention and comparison) are measured before and again sometime after the nutrition incentive provided.  The independent evaluator  working collaboration with FPs and FSLPs  will identify groups that are similar possible the intervention communities make the comparison fair possible. 
 
All FPs and FSLPs will required cooperate with the independent evaluator by: 
 
 Supporting implementation evaluation requirements (including but not limited helping the independent evaluation contractor identify appropriate comparison sites groups and providing the minimum core data set described below); 

 Meeting periodically with staff from NIFA, FNS, the independent evaluation contractor, and other FINI grantees review project plans, evaluation objectives and methods, data collection and reporting requirements, and analysis and reporting results; 

 Facilitating access providing documentation project implementation, operations, costs, and outcomes; and 

 Facilitating site visits and interviews with project staff, partners and program participants. 

 
FPs and FLSPs will required periodically provide the independent evaluation contractor minimum core data set ensure common program tracking and enable meaningful comparisons across all projects.  FPs and FLSPs may choose their option collect additional information beyond the minimum core data set part their self-assessments; the independent evaluation contractor will also collect additional data, including information consumer knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and purchase and consumption behaviors.  The minimum core data set includes the following:   
 
Site and Project Information 
 Management organizational structure the program 

 Financial instrument used for SNAP and incentive purchases (tokens, scrip, electronic) 

 Retail locations, mobile routes, other pertinent information understand how the project improves access healthy food for underserved, low-income consumers 

 Months operation and operating days and hours 

 Whether new SNAP incentive program the continuation, expansion, modification existing program 

 Whether program sites accept other nutrition assistance program benefits  

 Whether program sites collaborate with nutrition education programs offer other experiential nutrition education activities 

 Expenses associated with establishment and operations the program 

 
Incentive Program Information 
 Fruit and vegetable products eligible for incentives  

 Incentive level (ratio and maximum) 

 Incentive delivery mechanism  

 Number SNAP participants (per site/per year) 

 Dollar value SNAP purchases (per site/per year) 

 Number SNAP transactions (per site/per year) 

 Dollar value incentives issued (per site/per year) 

 Dollar value incentives redeemed (per site/per year) 

 Average incentive value redeemed per recipient (weekly/monthly/annually) 

 
Proposals should discuss any opportunities and challenges with the evaluation requirements and how they will addressed.  Proposals should also describe any previous process, outcome, and impact evaluation experience with SNAP participants other related food programs.  The proposal should demonstrate the capacity and willingness comply with the evaluation requirements. 
 
(g) Sustainability.  Describe which aspects components the project will continue beyond the end the project period.  Discuss how infusion Federal funds will sufficient for the proposed project advance local capacity-building and achieve sustainability. Projects may identify actual potential funding sources for continuation the project. Applicants should differentiate between how the basic elements the project will continued versus how the low-income community will changed and its capacity advanced.  
 
Projects should provide evidence, e.g., market analysis the outline business plan, demonstrate that likely become successful meeting FINI grant program goals.  Business plan outlines any other documentation evidence for sustainability should more than five pages and should included appendix.  Such evidence should included Other Attachment, Field (see Part IV.B.3.c.). 
 
(h) Non-supplantation.  Grants shall used supplement, not supplant, non-Federal funds that would otherwise available for expenditure incentive program activities. Grant funds must used fund new projects, expand enhance existing projects. They may not used replace State local funds that would, the absence Federal aid, available forthcoming for incentive programs. Field 12. Other Attachments.  All attachments must PDF format. 
 
 Key Organization Support.  Attach signed letters from the state SNAP agency and any other key organizations involved the project acknowledging their support, contributions and commitment; title the attachment Key Organization Support.  Provide evidence broad community involvement both planning and decision-making.  This section limited two page letters support for each key organization.  

 
 Matching Funds Documentation.  For FPP, FP, and FLSP applicants, this grant program requires applicants match Federal funds awarded dollar-for-dollar basis from non-Federal sources described Part III,  Letters signed the from each source matching funds are required, and should attached Field 12; title the attachment Matching Funds.  Recommended contents the letter are described below item 6., RR Budget (Fed/Non-Fed).  

 
 Appendices Project Narrative.  Title the attachment Appendices the document header and save file Appendices.  Appendices the Project Narrative are allowed they are directly germane the proposed project.  The addition appendices must not exceed seven (7) pages and should not used circumvent the text and/or figures and tables page limitations. 

 
 Logic Model. Title the attachment Logic Model the document header and save file LogicModel. order allow for sufficient evaluation projects described, recommended that applicants set aside between five and ten percent the total project budget for evaluation purposes.  Applicants should seek the help academic other experts evaluation design and implementation, appropriate and available. logic model chart may also used. recommended that this section more than one page. http://www.nifa.usda.gov/about/strat_plan_logic_models.html 

 
 Fiscal Agent Letter. See Part III necessary include fiscal agent letter, then title the attachment Fiscal Agent the document header and save file FiscalAgent. Include documents showing the organizations non-profit status here. RR Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded)  
Information related the questions this form dealt with detail Part the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide.  This section the Guide includes information about the people who require Senior/Key Person Profile, and details about the Biographical Sketch and the Current and Pending Support, including link suggested template for the Current and Pending Support. RR Personal Data  noted Part the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide, the submission this information voluntary and not precondition award. RR Budget (Federal/Non-Federal) 
Information related the questions this form dealt with detail Part the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide. 
Note: For each budget prepared, budget justification attached justify costs (both Federal and non-Federal) included that budget. Field Domestic Travel.  
 
During the tenure grant, PDs must attend meeting each year. The purpose the meeting will discuss their projects, opportunities for collaborative efforts, and enhance dissemination exemplary end products/results. Reasonable travel expenses attend this meeting may included the applications budget under travel expenses.   Matching Cost Sharing. Applicants Contribution. stated Part III, B., matching funds are mandatory for FPPs, FPs, and FLSPs.  The RR Budget (Fed/Non-Fed) form must utilized. The applicants matching support should shown the budget the appropriate categories (salary, materials and supplies, equipment, etc.). budget justification (Field the Form) must included each budget explaining all Federal and non-federal costs included therein.  
 
ii. Third-party Contributions. Each third party contributor should listed separately under Other Direct Costs (Field the Form) and the amount contributed placed the Non-Federal ($) column. detailed breakdown third-party contributions donor and budget category should submitted attachment part the budget justification (Field the Form). See below. optional Matching Verification Template can found the NIFA website http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/cfp/pdfs/matching_verification.xls.  
 
Proposals should include written verification commitments matching support (including both cash and in-kind contributions) from third parties. Letters commitment for third party matching for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th years multi-year projects must secured prior the application submittal. Awards will not issued until all matching has been verified. Written verification means:  
 
(a) For any third party cash contributions, separate pledge agreement for each donation, signed the authorized representatives the donor organization and the applicant organization, which must include: (1) the name, address, and telephone number the donor; (2) the name the applicant organization; (3) the title the project for which the donation made; (4) the dollar amount the cash donation; (5) statement that the donor will pay the cash contribution during the grant period; and (6) whether the applicant can designate cash the applicant deems necessary the cash contribution has been designated particular budget item; and  
(b) For any third party in-kind contributions, separate pledge agreement (letter commitment) for each contribution, signed the authorized representatives the donor organization and the applicant organization, which must include: (1) the name, address, and telephone number the donor; (2) the name the applicant organization; (3) the title the project for which the donation made; (4) good faith estimate the current fair market value the third party in-kind contribution; and (5) statement that the donor will make the contribution during the grant period.  
 
The sources and amount all matching support from outside the applicant organization should summarized separate page and attached the 424 (RR) Other Project Information, Field (Title the attachment Matching Support). addition, each source non-Federal matching funds must accompanied written verification commitment matching support (i.e., signed letter from the the source matching funds; including both cash and in-kind contributions) from third parties. Include each these signed matching letters, attachments, Field the 424 (RR) Other Project Information form.  
The value applicant contributions the project shall established accordance with applicable cost principles. Applicants should refer CFR part 200, subpart for further guidance and other requirements relating allowable costs. All contributions, including cash and third party in-kind, must meet the criteria included CFR 3016.24 3019.23, applicable.  Note: the time FINI grants are awarded, the Department expects have published final rule implementing the Final Guidance Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, CFR part 200, including the provisions cost sharing matching CFR 200.306).  The award document will identify the applicable uniform administrative requirements and cost principles. Supplemental Information Form 
Information related the questions this form dealt with detail Part VI, the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide. Field Program which you are applying.   

 
Enter the program code name: FINI Pilot Projects  
Enter the program code: FPP   
 
Enter the program code name: FINI Projects 
Enter the program code: FIP 
 
Enter the program code name: FINI Large Scale Projects 
Enter the program code: FLSP 
 
Note that accurate entry the program code very important for proper and timely processing application. Field  Conflict Interest List.  See Part VI, 1.8 the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide for further instructions and link suggested template. Submission Dates and Times 
 
Prior electronic submission the application via Grants.gov, strongly recommended that administrative review conducted ensure that application complies with all application preparation instructions. application checklist included Part VII the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide assist with this review.  
 
Instructions for submitting application are included Part IV, Section 1.9 the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide.  
 
Applications must received Grants.gov 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time December 15, 2014. Applications received after this deadline will normally not considered for funding. you have trouble submitting application Grants.gov, you should FIRST contact the Grants.gov Help Desk resolve any problems.  Keep record any such correspondence.  See Part IV. for Grants.gov contact information. send email correspondence the regarding the status submitted applications. Therefore, applicants are strongly encouraged provide accurate e-mail addresses, where designated, the SF-424 RR Application for Federal Assistance. the has not received correspondence from NIFA regarding submitted application within days the established deadline, contact the Agency Contact identified Part VII the applicable RFA and request the proposal number assigned the application.  Failure may result the application not being considered for funding the peer review panel.  Once the application has been assigned proposal number, this number should cited all future correspondence. Funding Restrictions Indirect Costs recipients full negotiated indirect cost rate allowable. your organization does not have, cannot obtain, negotiated rate, you must calculate indirect cost rate order request indirect costs.  You should calculate indirect cost rate based actual costs for the entire organization from the most recently completed accounting year. prior cost history exists, you should use budgeted costs for the entire organization.  You should follow the example(s) found at: http://nifa.usda.gov/business/indirect_cost_process.html for information regarding this process.   You may elect not charge indirect costs and, instead, use all grant funds for direct costs. indirect costs are not charged, the phrase "None requested" should written this space.   Subcontract Restriction 
 
The applicant expected perform substantive portion the project and more than percent FPP, FP, and FLSP determined budget expenditures, may subawarded. NIFA will allow applicants indicate their proposal they intend subcontract more than 50% the award. This deviation will require NIFA approval.   Projects may divide their budget allocations between partners fits their work plan. (For additional knowledge expertise that not available within the applicant organization, funds for expert consultation may included the All Other Direct Costs section the proposed budget.)  Multiple Submissions  
 
The FINI grants program will only accept one application across the three project types per project team under this RFA.  Funding Period Limitation 
 
The maximum potential funding period (including any awards transferred from another institution organization) limited years duration.  The funding period will commence the effective date cited the award instrument.  Any such limitation also applies subcontracts made under awards subject funding period limitation. Other Submission Requirements 
 
You should follow the submission requirements noted Part IV, section 1.9 the document entitled NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide.  
 
For information about the status submitted application, see Part III., section the NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide. 
PART VAPPLICATION REVIEW REQUIREMENTS General evaluate each application 2-part process. First, screen each application ensure that meets the administrative requirements set forth this RFA. Second, technical review panel will evaluate applications that meet the administrative requirements. select reviewers based upon their training and experience relevant scientific, extension, education fields, taking into account the following factors: (a) The level relevant formal scientific, technical education, extension experience the individual, well the extent which individual engaged relevant research, education, extension activities; (b) the need include reviewers experts from various areas specialization within relevant scientific, education, extension fields; (c) the need include reviewers other experts (e.g., producers, range forest managers/operators, technology experts, and consumers) who can assess relevance the applications targeted audiences and program needs; (d) the need include reviewers experts from variety organizational types (e.g., colleges, universities, industry, state and federal agencies, SNAP agencies, and private profit and non-profit organizations) and geographic locations; (e) the need maintain balanced composition reviewers with regard minority and female representation and equitable age distribution; and (f) the need include reviewers who can judge the effective usefulness each application producers and the general public. 
 
For more information the peer review process, see http://www.nifa.usda.gov/business/competitive_peer_review.html.  Note that the review panel meeting for this program conducted the same manner Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) described 
 
NIFA reserves the right negotiate with the PD/PI and/or with the submitting organization institution regarding project revisions (e.g., reductions the scope work, funding level, period, method support), prior recommending any project for funding. Evaluation Criteria will use the following evaluation criteria for FPPs, FPs, and FLSPs, competing within each category/project type and not across categories, listed descending order importance, review applications submitted response this RFA: How well the proposed project advances the primary goal the FINI grants program which test and evaluate projects increase the purchase fruits and vegetables (as defined Subpart VIII (E) this document) low-income consumers participating SNAP providing incentives the point purchase, using effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies. 

 
All FINI projects must (1) have the support the State SNAP agency, responsible for the administration SNAP; (2) aim increase the purchase fruits and vegetables low-income consumers participating SNAP providing incentives the point purchase; (3) operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and compliance with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements; (4) agree participate the FINI comprehensive program evaluation; (5) ensure that the same terms and conditions apply purchases made individuals with SNAP benefits and with incentives provided under the FINI grants program apply purchases made individuals who are not members households receiving benefits provided C.F.R. 278.2(b); and (6) include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may replicated other States and communities. How well the project aligns with and advances FINI grants program priorities, which are to:  

 
 Maximize the share funds used for direct incentives participants; 

 Test innovative promising strategies that would contribute our understanding how best increase the purchase fruits and vegetables SNAP participants, inform future efforts; 

 Develop innovative improved benefit redemption systems that could replicated scaled; 

 Use direct-to-consumer sales marketing; 

 Demonstrate track record designing and implementing successful nutrition incentive programs that connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers (for FPs and FLSPs only);  

 Provide locally regionally produced fruits and vegetables, especially those culturally appropriate for the target audience;  and/or 

 Operate underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce Communities. 

Identified priorities are factors that will given additional weight the evaluation proposals. Addressing identified priorities will not guarantee proposal will selected for award. The significance the low-income food security issues that will addressed the proposed project, and informative description the community, its characteristics, assets, and needs; The appropriateness the goals, objectives, and outcomes the project and how these goals will achieved throughout the project period; The relevance the experience the organizations that are involved the proposed project, including the applicant entity, and the type and extent support that other organizations will providing, the extent which these organizations demonstrate the capacity contribute the overall grant program.  The applicant organization demonstrates history of, commitment to, and/or direct involvement food security nutrition incentive projects low-income communities communities with low-income groups, well success actively engaging low-income participants.  Benefits the program will accrue primarily the low income population. The qualifications staff involved with the proposed project and/or organizational leadership reflects the expertise necessary carry out the proposed activities similar types activities. Experience and connections with the community and demonstrated dedication serving low income residents will considered important academic professional credentials this regard. Professional salaries are balance with compensation given low-income residents for their participation the initiative; The strength the proposed project's plans and capacity undertake self-assessment,  collect the minimum core data set (for FPs and FLSPs only) with accuracy and validity,  cooperate with and participate independent evaluation, share project results exemplary practices format; Evidence provided demonstrate that the project likely become self-sustaining,     e.g., market analysis the outlines business plan. Projects should identify actual potential funding sources for continuation the project after federal funding has ended; and The timeline and budget for accomplishing project goals, objectives, and outcomes realistic and achievable. Conflicts Interest and Confidentiality 
 
During the peer evaluation process, take extreme care prevent any actual perceived conflicts interest that may impact review evaluation. For the purpose determining conflicts interest, determine the academic and administrative autonomy institution reference the current Higher Education Directory, published Higher Education Publications, Inc., 1801 Robert Fulton Drive, Suite 555, Reston, VA, 20191. Phone: (888) 349-7715.  Web site: http://www.hepinc.com. 
 
Names submitting institutions and individuals, well application content and peer evaluations, are kept confidential, except those involved the review process, the extent permitted law. addition, the identities peer reviewers will remain confidential throughout the entire review process, the extent permitted law; therefore, the names the reviewers will not released applicants. Organizational Management Information 
 
Specific management information relating applicant shall submitted one time basis, with updates needed basis.  This requirement part the responsibility determination prior the award grant identified under this RFA, such information has not been provided previously under this another NIFA program. will provide you copies forms recommended for use fulfilling these requirements part the preaward process. Although applicant may eligible based its status one these entities, there are factors that may exclude applicant from receiving federal financial and nonfinancial assistance and benefits under this program (e.g., debarment suspension individual involved determination that applicant not responsible based submitted organizational management information). Application Disposition application may withdrawn any time before final funding decision made regarding the application; however, withdrawn applications normally will not returned. One copy each application that not selected for funding, including those that are withdrawn, will retained FINI grants program for period three years. 
PART VIAWARD ADMINISTRATION General 
 
Within the limit funds available for such purpose, the NIFA awarding official shall make grants those responsible, eligible applicants whose applications are judged most meritorious under the procedures set forth this RFA.  The date specified the NIFA awarding official the effective date the grant shall later than September the federal fiscal year which the project approved for support and funds are appropriated for such purpose, unless otherwise permitted law.  The project need not initiated the grant effective date, but soon thereafter practical that project goals may attained within the funded project period.  All funds granted NIFA under this RFA may used only for the purpose for which they are granted accordance with the approved application and budget, regulations, terms and conditions the award, applicable federal cost principles, USDA assistance regulations, and NIFA General Awards Administration Provisions CFR part 3430, subparts through Award Notice 
 
The award document will provide pertinent instructions and information including, minimum: 
 
(1) Legal name and address performing organization institution which the director has issued award under the terms this request for applications; 

 
(2) Title project; 

 
(3) Name(s) and institution(s) PDs chosen direct and control approved activities; 

 
(4) Identifying award number and the Federal Agency Identification Number assigned NIFA; 

 
(5) Project period, specifying the amount time NIFA intends support the project without requiring recompetition for funds; 

 
(6) Total amount financial assistance approved for the award; 

 
(7) Legal authority(ies) under which the award issued; 

 
(8) Appropriate Catalog Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number;  

 
(9) Applicable award terms and conditions (see http://www.nifa.usda.gov/business/awards/awardterms.html view NIFA award terms and conditions); 

 
(10) Approved budget plan for categorizing allocable project funds accomplish the stated purpose the award; and 

(11) Other information provisions deemed necessary NIFA carry out its respective awarding activities accomplish the purpose particular award. Administrative and National Policy Requirements 
 
Several federal statutes and regulations apply grant applications considered for review and project grants awarded under this program. These include, but are not limited the ones listed below.  Note that the list includes current provisions; however, some these provisions may cease exist and new ones put place with the USDA implementation the OMB Final Guidance Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (78 78590, December 26, 2013), which expected published the Federal Register December 2014.  The award document will identify the applicable uniform administrative requirements and cost principles. CFR part 200, subpart ECost Principles. CFR part 417Nonprocurement Debarment and Suspension. CFR part 421Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace (Financial Assistance). CFR Part subpart AOfficial Records (USDA implementation the Freedom Information Act). CFR Part 3 Debt Management (USDA regulations regarding debt collection). CFR Part 15, subpart ANondiscrimination Federally-Assisted Programs the Department AgricultureEffectuation Title the Civil Rights Act 1964. CFR Part 331 and CFR Part 121Possession, Use, and Transfer Select Agents and Toxins (USDA implementation the Agricultural Bioterrorism Protection Act 2002). CFR Part 3015Uniform Federal Assistance Regulations. CFR Part 3016Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements State and Local Governments. CFR Part 3018New Restrictions Lobbying (imposes prohibitions and requirements for disclosure and certification related lobbying recipients federal contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and loans). CFR Part 3019Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Agreements with Institutions Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations. CFR Part 3022Research Institutions Conducting USDA-Funded Extramural Research; Research Misconduct. CFR Part 3052Audits States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations. CFR Part 3407Implementation National Environmental Policy Act. CFR 3430Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Federal Assistance Programs--General Award Administrative Provisions. U.S.C. 794 (section 504, Rehabilitation Act 1973) and CFR Part 15b (USDA implementation statute) prohibiting discrimination based upon physical mental handicap federally-assisted programs. U.S.C. 200 seq. Bayh Dole Act, controlling allocation rights inventions made employees small business firms and domestic nonprofit organizations, including universities, federally-assisted programs (implementing regulations are contained CFR Part 401). U.S.C. 3541 seq. (Pub. 107-347) Federal Information Security Management Act 2002 (FISMA), improve computer and network security within the Federal Government.  Applies awardees will collect, store, process, transmit, use information behalf NIFA. Expected Program Outputs and Reporting Requirements  
 
Grantees are use REEport, NIFA's electronic, web-based inventory system submit initial project initiation which documents expected products and outcomes the project.  Additionally, annual progress report documenting realized project outcomes must submitted the electronic system.  The web-based system facilitates electronic workflow between grantees and NIFA for project accomplishments easily searchable and allows for public access information Federally-funded projects.  The details these reporting requirements, including those specific the annual and final technical reports, are included the award terms and conditions. Final Performance Report Final Performance Report must submitted within days after the expiration date the project. The expiration date specified the award documents and modifications thereto, any. Generally, the Final Performance Report shall summary the completed project, include results the project Evaluation Plan; review project objectives and accomplishments; description any products and outcomes resulting from the project; activities undertaken disseminate products and outcomes; partnerships and collaborative ventures that resulted from the project; future initiatives that are planned result the project; the impact the project the Project Director(s), students, the departments, the institution, and the food, agricultural and human sciences higher education system; and data project personnel and beneficiaries. The report must document how project accomplishments (products, results and impacts, etc.) have been published otherwise disseminated the broadest extent throughout the academic community.  The Final Performance Report should accompanied samples copies any products publications resulting from developed the project. The Final Performance Report also must contain any other information which may specified the terms and conditions the award. Federal Financial Report 

For informational purposes, the Federal Financial Report, Form SF-425, consolidates into single report the former Financial Status Report (SF-269 and SF-269A) and the Federal Cash Transactions Report (SF-272 and SF-272A). The NIFA Agency-specific Terms and Conditions include the requirement that Form SF-425 due annual basis later than days following the awards anniversary date (i.e., one year following the month and day which the project period begins and each year thereafter until final report required). final Federal Financial Report, Form SF-425, due days after the expiration date this award.  
 
PART VIIAGENCY CONTACT 
 
Applicants and other interested parties are encouraged contact: 
 
Programmatic Contact  
 
Dr. Jane Clary Loveless; National Program Leader, National Institute Food and Agriculture, USDA; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mail Stop 2225 Washington, 20250-2225; telephone: 202-720-3891; fax: 202-720-9366; e-mail: jclary@nifa.usda.gov. 
 
Dr. Dionne Toombs; Director, Division Nutrition, National Institute Food and Agriculture, USDA; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mail Stop 2225 Washington 20250-2225; telephone: 202-401-2138; fax: 202-401-4888; email: dtoombs@nifa.usda.gov.  
 
Administrative/Business Contact   
 
Susan Bowman; Awards Management Branch Chief; Office Grants and Financial Management; National Institute Food and Agriculture, USDA; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mail Stop 2271; Washington, 20250-2271; telephone 202-401-4324; fax 202-401-6271; e-mail sbowman@nifa.usda.gov. 
 
Adriene Woodin; Awards Management Branch Chief; Office Grants and Financial Management; National Institute Food and Agriculture, USDA; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mail Stop 2271; Washington, 20250-2271; telephone 202-401-4320; fax 202-401-6271; e-mail awoodin@nifa.usda.gov. 
PART VIIIOTHER INFORMATION Access Review Information will send copies reviews, not including the identity reviewers, and summary the panel comments the applicant after the review process has been completed. Use Funds; Changes Delegation Fiscal Responsibility 
 
Unless the terms and conditions the award state otherwise, awardees may not whole part delegate transfer another person, institution, organization the responsibility for use expenditure award funds. Changes Project Plans The permissible changes the awardee, PD(s), other key project personnel the approved project shall limited changes methodology, techniques, other similar aspects the project expedite achievement the project's approved goals. the awardee the PD(s) uncertain whether change complies with this provision, the question must referred the Authorized Departmental Officer (ADO) for final determination. The ADO the signatory the award document, not the program contact. The awardee must request, and the ADO must approve writing, all changes approved goals objectives prior effecting such changes. event shall requests approved for changes that are outside the scope the original approved project. The awardee must request, and the ADO must approve writing, all changes approved project leadership the replacement reassignment other key project personnel, prior effecting such changes. The awardee must request, and the ADO must approve writing, all transfers actual performance the substantive programmatic work whole part and provisions for payment funds, whether not federal funds are involved, prior instituting such transfers, unless prescribed otherwise the terms and conditions the award. The project period may extended without additional financial support, for such additional period(s) necessary complete fulfill the purposes approved project, but case shall the total project period exceed any applicable statutory limit expiring appropriation limitation. The terms and conditions award include information about no-cost extensions the award and when ADOs prior approval necessary. Changes Approved Budget: Unless stated otherwise the terms and conditions award, changes approved budget must requested the awardee and approved writing the ADO prior instituting such changes, the revision will involve transfers expenditures amounts requiring prior approval set forth the applicable Federal cost principles, Departmental regulations, award. Confidential Aspects Applications and Awards 
 
When application results award, becomes part the record NIFA transactions, available the public upon specific request. Information that the Secretary determines confidential, privileged, proprietary nature will held confidence the extent permitted law. Therefore, any information that the applicant wishes have considered confidential, privileged, proprietary should clearly marked within the application. The original copy application that does not result award will retained the Agency for period three years. Other copies will destroyed. Such application will released only with the consent the applicant the extent required law. application may withdrawn any time prior the final action thereon. Regulatory Information 
 
For the reasons set forth the final Rule related Notice CFR part 3015, subpart (48 29114, June 24, 1983), this program excluded from the scope the Executive Order 12372 which requires intergovernmental consultation with State and local officials. Under the provisions the Paperwork Reduction Act 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), the collection information requirements contained this Notice have been approved under OMB Document No. 0524-0039. Definitions  
 
Please refer CFR 3430, Competitive and Noncompetitive Non-formula Federal Assistance Programs--General Award Administrative Provisions, for applicable definitions for this NIFA grant program.  
 
For the purpose this program, the following additional definitions are applicable:  
 
Community Food Assessment collaborative and participatory process that systematically examines broad range community food issues and assets, inform change actions make the community more food secure. 
 
Emergency Feeding Organization means public nonprofit organization that administers activities and projects (including the activities and projects charitable institution, food bank, food pantry, hunger relief center, soup kitchen, similar public private nonprofit eligible recipient agency) providing nutrition assistance relieve situations emergency and distress through the provision food needy persons, including low-income and unemployed persons. (See U.S.C. 7501). 
 
Exemplary practices means high quality community food security work that emphasizes food security, nutritional quality, environmental stewardship, and economic and social equity.  
 
Expert reviewers means individuals selected from among those recognized uniquely qualified training and experience their respective fields give expert advice the merit grant applications such fields who evaluate eligible proposals submitted this program their respective area(s) expertise.  
 
Food security means access affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people all times.  
 
Fruits and Vegetables means for the purposes the incentives provided under these grants (i.e. used Section 4208) any variety fresh, canned, dried, frozen whole cut fruits and vegetables without added sugars, fats, oils, and salt (i.e. sodium).  
 
Logic model means systematic and visual way present and share understanding the relationships among resources available operate program, and includes: planned activities and anticipated results; and the presentation the resources, inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts.  
 
Outcomes means the changes the wellbeing individuals that can attributed particular project, program, policy, that program hopes achieve over time. They indicate measurable change participant knowledge, attitudes, behaviors. For the purposes this document, impact and outcome are used interchangeably.  
 
Process evaluation means examining program activities terms (1) the age, sex, race, occupation, other demographic variables the target population; (2) the programs organization, funding, and staffing; and (3) its location and timing. Process evaluation focuses program activities rather than outcomes.  
 
PromiseZone refers designated high-poverty communities where the federal government will partner with and invest communities create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety. See http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/CEDP_PZ.html for more information.  
 
Non-profit Organization means Nonprofit corporation special type corporation that has been organized meet specific tax-exempt purposes. qualify for Nonprofit status, your corporation must formed benefit: (1) the public, (2) specific group individuals, (3) the membership the Nonprofit. 
 
StrikeForce means the USDAs StrikeForce for Rural Growth and Opportunity Initiative which works address the unique set challenges faced many Americas rural communities. Through StrikeForce, USDA leveraging resources and collaborating with partners and stakeholders improve economic opportunity and quality life these areas. See http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?navid=STRIKE_FORCE 
for more information.  
 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) means the supplemental nutrition assistance program established under the Food and Nutrition Act 2008 U.S.C. 2011 seq). 
Value Chain means adding value product, including production, marketing, and the provision after-sales service and incorporating fair pricing farms. also involves keeping the final pricing customers within competitive range. Value chain development, therefore, process building relationships between supplier and buyer that are reciprocal and win-win; instead always striving buy lowest cost.