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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services

Deadline: August 7, 2017

Innovations in Nutrition Programs and Services aims to increase the evidenced based knowledge of Older Americans Act (OAA) nutrition providers, drive improved health outcomes for program recipients by promoting higher service quality, and increase program efficiency through innovative service delivery models. Funding will support innovative and promising practices that move the aging network towards evidenced based practices that enhance the quality and effectiveness of nutrition services programs or outcomes within the aging services network. Innovations could include service products that appeal to caregivers (such as web-based ordering systems and carryout food products), increased involvement of volunteers (such as retired chefs), consideration of eating habits and choice (such as variable meal times, salad bars, or more fresh fruits and vegetables), new service models (testing variations and hybrid strategies), and other innovations to better serve a generation of consumers whose needs and preferences are different. Innovation and promising practices may include the testing and publishing of positive outcomes in which nutrition programs provide a meaningful role in support of the health and long-term care of older individuals. Outcomes should focus on methods to improve collaboration with local health care entities, decrease health care costs for a specific population, or decrease the incidence of the need for institutionalization among older adults. Through this program, funds may be used to help develop and test additional models or to replicate models that have already been tested in other community-based settings.

Projects should focus on a number of priorities, including efforts to:

  • Modernize the infrastructure and delivery mechanisms in use by the national aging network to insure that states are able to maximize the return on their investment in nutrition programs, both in terms of number of meals and seniors that they are able to serve and in terms of the impact that these programs have.
  • Instill, increase, and then maintain consistent quality in meals and nutrition services through collaborative efforts among State Units on Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, and local nutrition service providers
    Develop pioneering approaches that bridge the gap between clinical and community services to demonstrate value.
  • Leverage Medicare benefits (such as Medical Nutrition Therapy) to generate revenue.
  • Improve quality, service, and effectiveness of providing meals and other nutrition services to meet the special nutrition needs of ethnically and culturally appropriate diets as well as religious needs of a diverse communities.
  • Utilize new food and food service technology and equipment as well as foodservice personnel (such as chefs) to reduce costs, improve service and delivery, and add value.
  • Enhance communication through effective use of health IT and other techniques to improve business practices and establish quality feedback procedures to report outcomes to the entities at risk for meal recipients’ health care costs.
  • Develop innovative ways to use existing nutrition sites for other health promotion activities that could receive sustainable funding outside the OAA and, likewise, develop innovative uses of existing nutrition sites as multi-purpose community sites and cafes for the broader populations and needs in the community.
  • Test the effectiveness of pilots that address the incidences of malnutrition and/or health care utilization and the programs ability to show interventions have positive outcomes and plan to publish in a peer review journal.
  • Promote innovative, evidence based practices for senior nutrition aimed at enhancing the quality and effectiveness of the nutrition programs’ services.

Amount: A total of $775,000 is available to award four cooperative agreements that range from $150,000-$250,000 per budget period. The project period is for 24 months with two 12-month budget periods. The applicant must cover at least 25% of the project’s total cost with non-federal resources.

Eligibility: Domestic public or private and nonprofit entities including state, local, and Indian tribal governments and organizations (American Indian/Alaskan Native/Native American), faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, hospitals, and institutions of higher education. Applicants must demonstrate extensive knowledge and present a proven track record of expertise concerning the nature of nutrition for older individuals and the business of nutrition program administration within the aging network.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=294025

Note: The (optional) letter of intent is due on June 26, 2017. An informational conference call will be held on July 12, 2017.

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