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U.S. Department of Agriculture: Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Competitive Grant Program

Deadline: December 13, 2017

The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program for fiscal year (FY) 2018 to support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. NIFA will give priority to
projects that:

  • Maximize the share of funds used for direct incentives to participants
  • Test innovative or promising strategies that would contribute to understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants, that would inform future efforts
  • Develop innovative or improved benefit redemption systems that could be replicated or scaled
  • Use direct-to-consumer sales marketing
  • Demonstrate a track record of designing and implementing successful nutrition incentive programs that connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers
  • Provide locally or regionally produced fruits and vegetables, especially culturally appropriate fruits and vegetables for the target audience
  • Are located in underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities
  • Focus on incentives that are most likely to directly and efficiently increase the purchase and consumption of FINI qualifying fruits and vegetables by SNAP clients
  • Require that SNAP recipients utilize their EBT cards to make qualifying food purchases in order to earn FINI incentives

There are three types of grants under this program:

  1. FINI Pilot Projects (FPP) support the development of projects with an infusion of federal dollars to pilot innovative strategies to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase. FPPs must operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and comply with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements. FPPs are aimed at new entrants seeking funding for a project in the early stages of incentive program development. The project should be designed to create community-based food incentive projects with objectives, activities, and outcomes that are in alignment with the FINI grant program’s primary goals.
  2. FINI Projects (FP) support the development and evaluation of projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase. The projects will test strategies that could increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants to inform future efforts, and develop effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies. FP(s) are aimed at mid-sized groups developing incentive programs at the local or state level; organizations in this category are typically not new to implementing such programs, although projects are required to expand the breadth, scope or reach of these programs, rather than supplant current program resources. FP(s) should have established relationships with necessary partners and collaborators.
  3. FINI Large Scale Projects (FLSP) to develop and evaluate projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase, using effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies. The projects will test strategies that could contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants to inform future efforts. FLSP should be designed to create or support multi-county, State-wide and regional incentive programs. FLSP should be coordinated food projects with objectives, activities, and outcomes that align with the FINI grant program’s primary goals. Projects must operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and comply with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements. Projects are required to expand the breadth, scope or reach of these programs, rather than supplant current program resources.

Amount: Varies by project type:

  • FINI Pilot Projects: Up to $100,000 each for a one year period
  • FINI Projects: Up to $500,000 for a project period of up to four years
  • FINI Large Scale Projects: Grants of more than $500,000 for a project period of up to four years

Eligibility: Government agencies and non-profit organizations, such as an emergency feeding organization; an agricultural cooperative; a producer network or association; a community health organization; a public benefit corporation; an economic development corporation; a farmers’ market; a community-supported agriculture program; a buying club; a SNAP-authorized retailer; and a State, local, or tribal agency.

Link: https://nifa.usda.gov/program/food-insecurity-nutrition-incentive-fini-grant-program

Note: A webinar reviewing this proposal and the match requirements will be held on October 19, 2017 at 12:00 pm Mountain Time for potential applicants.

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