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Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program

Grants to USA Nonprofits and Agencies to Encourage
Low-Income Individuals to Buy Fruits and Vegetables

GrantWatch ID#: 163668
Agency Type:


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)


12/12/16 5:00 PM EST

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Large grants to USA nonprofit organizations and government agencies for projects and programs that encourage low-income individuals and families to buy more fruits and vegetables. A webinar will be held on November 3. Funding is ultimately intended to reduce childhood obesity, and to encourage healthy eating and physical activity at the individual and community levels, with a special focus on high-risk groups.

This program will test strategies that could contribute to a greater understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants that would inform future efforts, and develop effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies.

There are three funding categories of projects:

(1) FINI Pilot Projects (FPPs):

FPPs are aimed at new entrants seeking funding for a project in the early stages of incentive program development. Applicants should request a budget commensurate with the proposed project. No single FINI Pilot project (FPP) award shall exceed $100,000 for the total project period. The maximum FINI Pilot Project award period is one year. Applications that exceed the budgetary guidelines will not be reviewed.

(2) Multi-Year, Community-Based FINI Projects (FPs):

FINI Projects are aimed at mid-sized groups developing incentive programs at the local or State level. Applicants should request a budget and project period commensurate with the proposed project. FP proposals should include a budget of no more than $500,000 for a project period not to exceed four years. Proposal budgets may be less than $500,000 and/or a proposed project period of less than four years. Applications that exceed budgetary guidelines will not be reviewed.

(3) Multi-Year, FINI Large-Scale Projects (FLSPs):

FLSPs are aimed at groups developing multi-county, State, and regional incentive programs with the largest target audience of all FINI projects. Applicants should request a budget and project period commensurate with the proposed project. FLSP proposals should include a budget of $500,000 or more for a project period not to exceed four years. Applicants may submit a proposed project period of less than four years. All FINI awards will be made based on the merit of the proposed project with budgets considered only after the merits of the project have been determined. NIFA reserves the right to negotiate final budgets with successful applicants.

All FINI projects must:

1. Have the support of the State agency responsible for the administration of SNAP;

2. Increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase;

3. Operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and in compliance with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements;

4. Agree to participate in the FINI comprehensive program evaluation;

5. Ensure that the same terms and conditions apply to purchases made by individuals with SNAP benefits and with incentives under the FINI grants program as apply to purchases made by individuals who are not members of households receiving benefits as provided in 7 C.F.R. 278.2(b); and

6. Include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may be replicated in other States and communities.

In reviewing applications submitted in response to this RFA, and depending on the type of FINI project (as described above), NIFA will give priority to projects that:

- Maximize the share of funds used for direct incentives to participants;
- 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; and
- Are located in underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities.


FINI Pilot Projects: Awards not to exceed a total of $100,000
Multi-Year, Community-Based FINI Projects: Awards not to exceed a total of $500,000
Multi-Year, FINI Large-Scale Projects: Awards of $500,000 or more

FINI Pilot Projects: Project period is not to exceed one year.
Multi-Year, Community-Based FINI Projects: Project period is not to exceed four years.
Multi-Year, FINI Large-Scale Projects: Project period is not to exceed four years.

Applications may only be submitted by government agencies and nonprofit organizations.

Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the conduct of the project.

Eligible government agencies and nonprofit organizations may include: 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.

In addition, applicants must meet the following requirements to receive a FPP, FP, or FLSP grant:

1. Have experience in:

- Efforts to reduce food insecurity in the community, including food distribution, improving access to services, or coordinating services and programs; or
- Experience with the SNAP program;

2. Demonstrate competency to implement a project, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation; and

3. Possess a demonstrated willingness to share information with researchers, evaluators (including the independent evaluator for the program), practitioners, and other interested parties, including a plan for dissemination of results to stakeholders.

Fiscal Agents:

If an institution/organization cannot accept Federal funds directly, a letter must be included in the application stating that in the event the application results in an award, the award funds must be administered through a fiscal agent organization on their behalf.

Partners and Collaborators:

Applicants for FPP, FP, and FLSP awards are encouraged to seek and create partnerships with public or private, nonprofit or 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 or implementation partners; and StrikeForce area coordinators and/or partnering entities for the purposes of 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.

Funding Restrictions:

1. Indirect Costs: Applicants may request full indirect costs, subject to statutory limitations.

2. Subcontract Restriction: The applicant is expected to perform a substantive portion of the project and no more than 50 percent of FPP, FP, and FLSP, as determined by budget expenditures, may be sub-awarded. NIFA will allow applicants to indicate in their proposal if they intend to subcontract more than 50% of the award.

3. Multiple Submissions: The FINI grants program will only accept one application across the three project types per project team under this RFA.

4. Prohibiting Government-Sponsored Recruitment Activities: Grant funds may not be used for television, radio, or billboard advertisements that are designed to promote SNAP benefits and enrollment. Grant funds may also not be used for recruitment, outreach, or advertising activities that are designed to persuade an individual to apply for SNAP.

FINI Webinar:

A webinar reviewing these RFA proposal and match requirements will be held on November 3, 2016 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time for potential applicants. The webinar will be recorded and posted to the FINI webpage accessible here:

Ways to Join the Webinar:

1. PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

2. iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16465588656,979123435# or +14086380968,979123435#

3. Telephone:
- Dial +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll)
- Meeting ID: 979 123 435
- International numbers available:

4. H.323/SIP room system:
- H.323: (US West)
- (US East)
- Meeting ID: 979 123 435
- SIP:

Past FINI Webinars:

Links to previously recorded webinars from 2014 and 2015 may be found online at:

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement:

FPP, FP, and FLSP applicants must provide matching contributions on a dollar-for-dollar basis for all Federal funds awarded. Match must be documented for all project years at the time the application is 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, or services.

The non-Federal share of the funding may come from State government, local government, or private sources. Federal money cannot be used to match. Examples of qualifying matching contributions may include direct costs such as: rent for office space used exclusively for the 20 funded project; duplication or postage costs; and staff time from an entity other than the applicant for job training or nutrition education.

Note that if an applicant partners with a for-profit entity, the non-Federal share that is required to be provided by the applicant may not include the services of an employee of that for-profit entity, including salaries or expenses covered by that employer. (FCEA, § 4405(b)(1)(c)(ii)).

Click here to access the application FAQs:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Click here to apply online:

General Contact Information:

For more information, please contact the NIFA Help Desk Phone: 202-401-5048. Business hours are Monday through Friday, 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM ET, excluding Federal holidays.

If you have any questions related to preparing application content/electronic access problems, please email:

Specific Contact Information:

For more information, contact Jane Clary Loveless, Ph.D., RN:

Position/Title: National Program Leader
Office: Division of Nutrition
Location: 2322 Waterfront Centre
Phone Number: (202) 720-3891
Fax Number: (202) 401-4888



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