September 29, 2017
Editor’s Note: USDA’s NIFA will host a free informational webinar for interested applicants on Oct. 19, 2016 at 2:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time. An archived version will be available on NIFA’s FINI webpage following the webinar.
A $21 million infusion of funds through the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentives (FINI) Program will help families in need of nutrition assistance to receive the services and outreach they need.
Authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, FINI is a competitive grant program that helps low-income families participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables. FINI projects do this by providing cash incentives that increase SNAP users’ purchasing power, which both increases families’ access to fresh, healthy food, and also expands the customer base of local farmers.
Earlier this week, USDA released their fourth Request for Applications (RFA) for FINI projects that support and incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetable by families and households participating in the SNAP program. The deadline to submit proposals December 13, 2017 at 5:00pm Eastern Standard Time. Proposals should be submitted online via http://www.grants.gov/.
Since 2015, FINI has awarded $48.2 million in funding to projects nationwide; $100 million in total funds has been allocated for the program between 2014 and 2018. FINI is jointly administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and Food and Nutrition Service.
Applications will be accepted for three project types:
Requirements for Projects
FINI projects must:
FINI requires a dollar for dollar match of the total cost of the project using cash and/or in-kind contributions. The non-federal share of the funding may come from State government, local government, or private sources.
NIFA will give priority to projects that:
For more information on the program requirements, the application process, and priority considerations click here.
FINI in Action
In 2017, the Community Farm Alliance (KY) was awarded $602,159 to merge Community Farm Alliance’s (CFA) farmers’ market DoubleDollars Program and Bluegrass Farm to Table’s FINI-piloted Bluegrass Double DollarsProgram. Combining these two programs will allow CFA to create a comprehensive, statewide incentive program to increase the purchase and consumption of Kentucky-grown produce among low-income individuals.
Another NSAC member organization, Fair Food Network (MI) was awarded $3.5 million to assist more than 172,000 food-insecure individuals by scaling a highly innovative and efficient form of the successful Double Up Healthy Food Incentive program. Specifically, the proposed project will implement three core innovations: widespread implementation in grocery stores; high-tech e-incentive card systems; and interoperability across retail locations, allowing SNAP users more choice in how they earn and use incentives.
A full list of the 2017 funded projects can be found on USDA’s website here.