May 8, 2019
Editor’s Note: On May 9, NIFA issued a revised RFA fixing a number of discrepancies between the RFA the program’s statute. NIFA will host a free informational webinar for interested applicants on May 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. An archived version will be available on NIFA’s webpage following the webinar. More information on the webinar can also be found below.
Newly renamed, the former Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives Program (FINI) – now the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) – helps low-income families access more fresh fruits and vegetables. The program, which is still jointly administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Food and Nutrition Service, recently announced the availability of $41 million in funds for fiscal year (FY) 2019 projects. This is the first round of funding being offered since passage of the 2018 Farm Bill.
The full Request for Applications (RFA) which includes all three subprograms (listed below) of GusNIP can be found here. The deadline to submit proposals is June 10, 2019 at 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time. Proposals should be submitted online via http://www.grants.gov/.
Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, GusNIP is a competitive grant program that helps low-income families to access and purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables through “cash” incentives that increase their purchasing power at locations like farmers markets.
The 2018 Farm Bill expanded the scope of GusNIP and authorized three distinct funding opportunities for eligible entities within the larger program:
SNAP Incentives applications are accepted for the following three types of projects:
All projects must:
Only government agencies and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for SNAP Incentive grants through GusNIP. Eligible applicants include:
Eligible entities may partner with or make sub-grants to public, private, nonprofit or for-profit entities.
Priority will be given to projects that:
This new subprogram provides competitive grant funding to eligible entities for projects to conduct and evaluate the impact of produce prescriptions programs and their ability to improve dietary health through increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, reduce individual and household food insecurity, and reduce health care use and associated costs.
Funding for Produce Prescription Program projects is capped at a maximum of $500,000, and projects are not to exceed 3 years. Unlike the SNAP Incentives projects, no match is required to receive Produce Prescription Program funding. Produce Prescription Program projects must include components aimed at evaluating the ability of the program to improve dietary health through increased consumption of produce, the reduction of individual or household food insecurity, and the reduction in health care use and associated cost.
Only government agencies and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for Produce Prescription Program grants. Eligible applicants include:
Eligible entities must partner with one or more “health care partner” to be eligible. Health care partners include:
Individuals are eligible to participate in Produce Prescription Programs if the individual is: (1) eligible for SNAP or any other benefits under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 or medical assistance through Medicaid, Medicare or a Veterans Affairs Health Plan, and (2) a member of a low-income household that suffers from, or is at risk of developing, a diet-related health condition.
Funding for this third subprogram are targeted toward the establishment of cooperative agreements between eligible entities and one or more training, technical assistance, evaluation, and/or information center(s). The goals of the Information Centers are to:
Editor’s Note: On May 9, NIFA issued a revised RFA fixing a number of discrepancies between the RFA the program’s statute.
NIFA will host a webinar on May 15, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. ET for potential applicants to all three subprograms of GusNIP to review the RFA and application process, and answer any questions applicants may have.
Interested applicants should note that significant discrepancies exist between the statutory language for GusNIP as included in the 2018 Farm Bill, and the language included within the RFA. We at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) are working with our members and partners to get clarification from NIFA regarding those discrepancies.
NSAC is hopeful that, among other things, this webinar will be used as an opportunity to clarify and address discrepancies in the RFA and the statutory language for the program as contained in the 2018 Farm Bill. NSAC will post additional updates and/or resources as they become available; it is possible that NIFA will issue an updated RFA or make additional clarifying resources available soon.
In 2018, NSAC memberLiveWell Colorado was awarded $466,951 for theirDouble Up Food Bucks Colorado: Sustainability, Expansion, and Innovation Project. LiveWell Colorado’s project focuses on increasing fruit and vegetable consumption for low-income Coloradans and economic opportunities for Colorado farmers through three new areas of expansion and innovation. LiveWell is working to diversify the type of partner sites and extending the Double Up Food Bucks program (Double Up) season, while integrating the promotion and implementation of Double Up into digital platforms.
Another NSAC member, Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA, received $363,880 to partner with four farmers markets to coordinate SNAP Ambassador programs, which rely on SNAP recipients’ knowledge and local connections to develop marketing and outreach activities. Funding will also support six local food outlets dedicated to increasing low-income consumers’ access to healthy food but who may have low organizational capacity in becoming SNAP-certified retailers, purchasing EBT equipment, or accepting EBT incentives.
A full list of the 2018 funded projects can be found on USDA’s website here.