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Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program Frequently Asked Questions

March 2024

Eligibility Questions

Eligibility to apply for a GusNIP Produce Prescription Program grant is limited to governmental agencies and non-profit organizations.  Institutions of higher education that are local, county, tribal, territory, or state government agencies must provide documentation in support of eligibility as a governmental agency.  Please upload this documentation in Field 12 of the grant application. 

The definition of a non-profit organization in 2 CFR 200 is as follows:

Nonprofit organization means any corporation, trust, association, cooperative, or other organization, not including Institution of Higher Education, that: 

  1.  Is operated primarily for scientific, educational, service, charitable, or similar purposes in the public interest; 
  2.  Is not organized primarily for profit; and 
  3. Uses net proceeds to maintain, improve, or expand the operations of the organization.

Yes, all applications that meet the initial screening criteria in the RFA will be considered for funding.  Where proposals are found to be equally meritorious, based on peer review, selection for funding will be weighed in favor of proposals aligning with and advancing the GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program purpose and priorities as described in the RFA including focus on any underrepresented geographies and/or underrepresented communities. All GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program priorities are given equal consideration.

This varies by organization. Documentation needs to provide clarity on the structure of the organization within a governmental agency, such as a State, U.S. Territory, Tribe, or County. Examples of documentation could be documents that clearly identify that the university or Cooperative Extension is designated as an entity within the governmental structure, such as the Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, Department of Public Health, etc. 

Example documents to support the eligibility of an institution of higher education may include, but are not limited to, an IRS determination letter or articles of incorporation.

Program Policy

The GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program allows incentives to be earned when a SNAP/NAP participant purchases fruits and vegetables, or a SNAP/NAP eligible food. The GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program allows the use of incentives for fruits and vegetables, or a SNAP/NAP eligible food. A purchase is required, thus a “no purchase required” mechanism and non-financial incentives are not allowable. 

The three allowable incentive models are as follows: 

  1. Fruits and vegetables for fruits and vegetables: SNAP/NAP participants purchase fruits or vegetables using their SNAP/NAP benefits and then receive incentives that are redeemable only for the purchase of fruits or vegetables.
  2. Any SNAP/NAP eligible food for fruits and vegetables: SNAP/NAP participants purchase any SNAP/NAP eligible food using their SNAP/NAP benefits and then receive incentives that are redeemable only for the purchase of fruits or vegetables.
  3. Fruits and vegetables for any SNAP/NAP eligible food: SNAP/NAP participants purchase fruits or vegetables using their SNAP/NAP benefits and then receive incentives that are redeemable for the purchase of any SNAP/NAP eligible food. 

A GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program project must incentivize the purchase of fruits and vegetables. 

Fruits and vegetables are defined as any variety of fresh, canned, dried, or frozen whole or cut fruits and vegetables without added sugars, fats, or oils, and salt (i.e., sodium). 

Yes, 100% fruit and vegetables juices with no added sugars, fats, or salt are eligible.  Fruit punch or fruit or vegetable juices less than 100% fruit juice or 100% vegetable juice do not qualify.

Edible seeds (e.g., sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds), fresh herbs, traditional subsistence fruits and vegetables, or wild edible and medicinal plants are considered fruits and vegetables for the purpose of the GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program fruit and vegetable incentive.  Beans, mushrooms, peas, and lentils, classified as vegetables by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 are also considered fruits and vegetables. Peanuts or hazel nuts are not considered fruits and vegetables for the purpose of the GusNIP fruit and vegetable incentive.  However, peanuts and hazel nuts are SNAP eligible foods whose purchase may allow a shopper to earn a fruit and vegetable incentive via the ‘any SNAP/NAP eligible food for fruits and vegetables’ model.  Include the products eligible to be purchased to earn the incentive and the products eligible to be purchased when the incentive is redeemed in the Specific Program and Incentive Information section of the project narrative. 

Grantees and their participating firms are expected to comply with all award terms and conditions as well as policies and requirements laid out in the RFA document and any GusNIP or SNAP/NAP policies or requirements further clarified in Q&As, memoranda, or other relevant USDA documents (including all applicable provisions of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 and SNAP regulations at 7 CFR 278). Grantees will be notified in writing of instances of noncompliance and will face serious repercussions for repeated instances of noncompliance. 

Examples of such noncompliance include, but are not limited to, failure to timely report a change of Project Director (PD), failure to provide required evaluation data to Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE), allowing unapproved firms to participate in a project, and/or incentivizing ineligible products, or exchanging incentives for cash. 

First Instance of Noncompliance 
If the grantee or the grantee’s firms fail to comply with GusNIP or SNAP/NAP rules and this is the first instance of noncompliance associated with that grantee, then the USDA will notify the grantee of the issue in writing and establish a timeline for corrective action. The general timeline for such corrective action is 30 calendar days, although the timeline may be extended or shortened depending on the nature and extent of the issue at hand at the discretion of the USDA. 

If the grantee fails to take required corrective action within the established timeline, then the USDA will immediately suspend that grantee’s access to grant funds. Access to grant funds will be restored when corrective action has been taken. 

Second Instance of Noncompliance 
If the grantee or the grantee’s firms fail to comply with GusNIP or SNAP/NAP rules and this is the second instance of noncompliance associated with that grantee, then the USDA will immediately suspend that grantee’s access to grant funds, notify the grantee of the issue in writing and establish a timeline for corrective action. The general timeline for such corrective action is 30 calendar days, although the timeline may be extended or shortened depending on the nature and extent of the issue at hand at the discretion of the USDA. Access to grant funds will be restored when corrective action has been taken. 

Third Instance of Noncompliance
If the grantee or the grantee’s firms fail to comply with GusNIP or SNAP/NAP rules and this is the third instance of noncompliance associated with that grantee, then the USDA will immediately suspend that grantee’s access to grant funds, notify the grantee of the issue in writing and establish a timeline for corrective action. In addition, the USDA will rescind 10% of the total Federal grant funding. The general timeline for such corrective action is 30 calendar days, although the timeline may be extended or shortened depending on the nature and extent of the issue at hand at the discretion of the USDA. Access to the remaining grant funds will be restored when corrective action has been taken. 

Further Instances of Noncompliance
If the grantee or the grantee’s firms fail to comply with GusNIP or SNAP/NAP rules and more than three such instances of noncompliance have already been documented, then the USDA will rescind the remaining Federal GusNIP grant funds in their entirety. 

Considering a History of Noncompliance during Application Evaluation
A history of noncompliance with GusNIP or any other USDA grant policies and requirements will be considered during the grant application evaluation process as detailed in Part V. B, Evaluation Criteria of the RFA.

There is currently no lower or upper limit on the SNAP benefit to GusNIP nutrition incentive ratio. Applicants should thoroughly justify the ratio proposed.

The GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program is designed to support growth through three incremental program areas. These program areas nurture eligible organizations to initiate pilot projects (FPP), then increase their capacity and scale to propose projects with greater reach, scope, and complexity to standard projects (FIP) and large-scale projects (FLSP). These investments support the sustainability vision of the GusNIP portfolio whereby Federal funds are leveraged to advance local capacity and over time other funding sources, financial management plans, business plans, or endowment plans are secured for the projects to become self-sustained independent of GusNIP funding.

Applications where the primary goal is merely to sustain efforts that are the same as a previous project are not allowed. To the extent possible, new proposals must be sufficiently unique with clear demonstration of new objectives, aims, activities and goals. If an objective, activity, etc., from a previous project is duplicated, justification for its continuity is required. 

Examples of expanded or modified projects, rather than duplicative projects might include: 1) continuing to aim to increase fruits and vegetable consumption, but to do so in a new geographical location, community or population; 2) continuing to offer nutrition education, but enhancing that experience to include new partnerships with subject matter experts, or 3) continuing to offer incentive earning opportunities at brick and mortar stores, but expanding earning opportunities to utilize the latest technologies and online shopping opportunities.

If a proposal is an expansion or enhancement of a previously funded project, lessons learned and how they are being used to improve the efficacy and success of the current application must be included in the Non-Supplantation section of the project narrative. 

RFA & Application Preparation

The 2024 NI RFA was released prior to the passage of a full appropriations act for FY 2024. Enactment of a continuing resolution, appropriations act, or other authorizing legislation may affect the availability or level of funding for this program. The anticipated amount available for grants in fiscal year FY 2024 is approximately $36.3 million. 

Yes, the same organization may submit a Produce Prescription Program proposal and a Nutrition Incentive Program proposal.  Applicants are encouraged to think critically about their organization’s capacity to complete the work proposed.

The start date of the grant must be no later than September 30, 2024. 

Charts and tables are included in the project narrative. 

For GusNIP Pilot Project (FPP) proposals the project narrative may not exceed 10 pages, 1.5 spaced including written text, figures, and tables with 1-inch margins. The font size for text and tables should be no smaller than 12 points, Times New Roman. There is no limit to the number of pages an applicant may dedicate to figures, tables, or charts within the overall 10-page limit. Figures, tables, or charts may be woven throughout the narrative, it is not required for them to be at the end of the narrative following the text.  We have established this maximum (10 pages) to ensure fair and equitable competition. Applications exceeding the project narrative page limit may be administratively declined without review.

For GusNIP Standard Project (FIP) and GusNIP Large Scale Project (FLSP) proposals the project narrative must not exceed 15-pages, 1.5 spaced including written text, figures, and tables with 1-inch margins. The font size for text and tables should be no smaller than 12 points, Times New Roman. There is no limit to the number of pages an applicant may dedicate to figures, tables, or charts within the overall 15-page limit.  Figures, tables, or charts may be woven throughout the narrative, it is not required for them to be at the end of the narrative following the text.  We have established this maximum (15 pages) to ensure fair and equitable competition. Applications exceeding the project narrative page limit may be administratively declined without review.

In 2024, it is recommended to include a table with implementation details in the Activities to Achieve the Goals section of the project narrative.  A recommended length has been removed.  Applicants may determine the length appropriate to best communicate their proposed project. 

No.  In 2024, all Specific Program and Incentive Information must be included in a section of the project narrative that stands alone to support SNAP/NAP Policy Analyst review for adherence to SNAP/NAP Policy. 

No.  In 2024, the is no longer required Specific Program and Incentive Information.

The RFA Sub-award Restrictions require no more than 33% of the budget be sub-awarded without prior NIFA approval from the National Program Leaders. 

Program Area Priorities

The GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program is designed to support growth through three incremental program areas. These program areas nurture eligible organizations to initiate pilot projects (FPP), then increase their capacity and scale to propose projects with greater reach, scope, and complexity to standard projects (FIP) and large-scale projects (FLSP). These investments support the sustainability vision of the GusNIP portfolio whereby Federal funds are leveraged to advance local capacity and over time other funding sources, financial management plans, business plans, or endowment plans are secured for the projects to become self-sustained independent of GusNIP funding

All FIPs must involve SNAP/NAP participants. All FIP proposals must include an evaluation of whether the project met its goals and objectives. All FIP grantees will be required to participate in the GusNIP comprehensive program evaluation, collect core participant-level and firm-level metrics, cooperate with, and contribute core participant-level and firm-level data to the Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Centers (NTAE). 

The required Comprehensive GusNIP Program Evaluation is based on a cluster evaluation model that builds on the collaboration and coordination of individual project assessments and an overall program evaluation. It consists of four components: a process analysis to describe project implementation and support future replication of successful approaches, an outcome analysis to assess the effectiveness of each FIP and FLSP grantee project, a comparative analysis to integrate results across sites and approaches, attempting to answer the question of what works best (and when or where), and technical assistance to support consistent implementation of evaluation protocols used by grantees/researchers/evaluators.

All FPP, FIP, and FLSP grantees will be required to cooperate with the NTAE center by:

  1. Supporting implementation of evaluation requirements;
  2. Meeting periodically with staff from NIFA, FNS, the NTAE centers, and other GusNIP grantees to review project plans, evaluation objectives and methods, data collection and reporting requirements, and analysis and reporting of results;
  3. Facilitating access to or providing documentation of project implementation, operations, costs, and outcomes; and
  4. Facilitating site visits and interviews with project staff, partners, and program participants if necessary.

FIP and FLSP grantees will be required to periodically provide the NTAE centers a core program data set to ensure common program tracking and enable meaningful comparisons across all projects. A defined number of cross-sectional (i.e., single time point) surveys are required to be collected from this subsample for each active grant year of a grantee’s project. Post-award, the NTAE will work with each grantee on an individual basis to determine the sample size and sampling plan. For additional information on the core program data set firm-level and participant-level metrics, visit the GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program RFA Resources page

To provide data for the core metrics, grantees are required to have a Data Use Agreement or a MOU with each firm or sub-grantee that guarantees each firm will provide information required for the core firm-level and participant-level  data sets, complete an outlet survey of firms to be conducted by the NTAE center.

No, GusNIP Large Scale Project (FLSP) proposals must test new outreach and promotion strategies to increase fruit and vegetable purchases and/or consumption.  Nutrition incentive GusNIP Standard Project (FIP) proposals must use available effective and efficient SNAP/NAP incentive redemption technologies.  FIP proposals may include testing new outreach and promotion strategies to increase fruit and vegetable purchases and/or consumption, but it is not required. 

Letter(s) of Support and Agreements

All nutrition incentive program applications must include at least one letter of support from applicable SNAP Implementing Agency(ies) and/or NAP Territory Agency(ies).  This letter must explain the specific role of the agency, including any activities the agency is expected to conduct in support of the project such as identifying SNAP/NAP participants, and/or sending them any correspondence related to the project. The letter must also identify any State/Territory Agency systems, including EBT systems, required to implement the proposed project along with an acknowledgment of who will bear the costs associated with any activities or system changes if applicable.

State SNAP Agency office contacts are available on the FNS SNAP State Directory web page:  https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/state-directory.

Administrating agencies for NAP block grant programs include: The Administration for the Socio-Economic Development of the Family Department of Family Affairs in Puerto Rico, https://servicios.adsef.pr.gov/views/programa/programaAsistenciaNutrici…; The American Samoa Department of Human and Social Services in the Territory of American Samoa, http://dhss.as/index.html; and The Department of Community and Cultural Affairs in Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, https://dcca.gov.mp/nap-nutrition-assistance-program/.

See the first question in this section for State/Territory SNAP/NAP agency letter(s) of support.  Letters of support from any other key organizations involved in the project need to acknowledge their support, contributions, commitment, and matching commitment documentation . Title the single attachment ‘Key Organization Support’. Provide evidence of broad community involvement in both planning and decision-making. This section is limited to two (2) page letters of support from each key organization.

Applicants are encouraged to partner with community-based organizations, tribal nations, local governments, academic institutions, and/or other entities for the purpose of strengthening historical failure in under-served communities. The community voice should be represented and reflected throughout the application. While not required, letter(s) of support can identify a collaborator’s agreement to render services or involvement in project delivery.

Budgets and Allowable Costs

Vehicles to be used as mobile markets may be an allowable expense depending on the proposed project design and objectives. Applicants must clearly explain and justify 1) why the item is needed, 2) if inventory exists elsewhere, and if so, can it be used instead of purchasing new inventory, 3) if there is a less expensive alternative to purchasing (i.e., leasing), and 4) what percentage of the cost is prorated among the activities to benefitted. As part of NIFA’s pre-award review process, cost(s) will be thoroughly vetted. You may be asked to submit a financial analysis, documented procurement procedures, detailed quote(s), and/or other items as requested. If approved, the procurement, inventory confirmation, use and disposition of equipment must in accordance with 2 CFR 200.313, award terms and conditions and NIFA policy. 

Modification of a vehicle may be an allowable expense depending on the proposed project design and objectives. Applicants must clearly explain and justify that the cost is ordinary and necessary for the proper and efficient performance of the project. Additionally, applicants must consider and justify if the cost to modify the vehicle involves a significant deviation from established organizational practices. 

Proposed projects cannot provide cash or cash value items to incentivize the behavior of potential participants.  Participants can, however, be reimbursed for their time and effort if they independently choose to complete an evaluation survey. Applicants may include compensation of participant time and effort under participant support costs, other direct costs, or the evaluation budget depending on who will administer the reimbursement.  The value of compensation or stipend should be commensurate with the time and effort contributed. For example: survey completion is anticipated to take one hour, participants will be reimbursed $20; or, travel to the clinic is anticipated to be approximately 18 miles, participants will be reimbursed $10.

During the tenure of a grant, Project Directors (PDs) must attend a NIFA PD meeting each year. The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss their projects, opportunities for collaborative efforts, and to enhance dissemination of exemplary end products/results. Reasonable travel expenses to attend this meeting may be included in the application’s budget under travel expenses.

Additional travel opportunities to attend other GusNIP-related gatherings, including those hosted by the Nutrition Incentive Hub may also be considered in budget planning. These are not a substitute for the required annual attendance and the NIFA PD meeting.   

You may calculate an indirect cost (IDC) rate to serve as the basis for requesting IDC in your application and indicate on the budget and justification that the rate is pending negotiation. If awarded, you will be required to submit a complete IDC proposal package to obtain a negotiated rate and recover IDC. Please note, it may take six to nine months to negotiate a rate if NIFA is your cognizant negotiating agency. The funds for the indirect costs will not be released for payment until the rate has been approved. Please see NIFA Indirect Cost Information for additional guidance.

NIFA authorizes award recipients to incur project costs up to 90 calendar days before the Federal award start date. Expenses more than 90 days pre-award require prior approval from NIFA. 

Costs incurred, may be reimbursed after the Federal award start date, but are at the risk of the recipient. NIFA is not required to reimburse costs if for any reason the: (1) award is not made; (2) award is less than anticipated; or (3) award is inadequate to cover such costs. If charged to the award, these costs must be charged to the initial budget period of the award, unless otherwise specified by NIFA.

In accordance with 2 CFR Part 200.332(a)(4), if the subrecipient has an approved federally recognized indirect cost rate negotiated between the subrecipient and the Federal Government, that rate may be applied. If no approved rate exists, the pass-through entity must determine the appropriate rate in collaboration with the subrecipient which is either: a negotiated rate between the pass-through entity and the subrecipient or the de minimis indirect cost rate. The pass-through entity must not require use of a de minimis indirect cost rate if the subrecipient has a Federally approved rate.

In accordance with 2 CFR Part 200.305(b), grantees may be paid in advance, provided that they maintain or demonstrate the willingness to maintain both written procedures that minimize the time elapsing between the transfer of funds and disbursement, and financial systems that meet the standards for fund accountability. The timing and amount of advanced payments must be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursement for direct program or program costs and the proportionate share of any allowable indirect costs. 

If a grantee cannot meet the criteria for advance payments, NIFA may determine that reimbursement is the preferred method and will set reimbursement as a specific term of the award. 

The maximum Federal award amount is for the entire project period. For example, a GusNIP Standard Project (FIP) may be proposed for up to four years in duration and $500,000 total in Federal funding. The $500,000 would be spread across the project years.  The $500,000 in non-Federal matching funds would also be for the entire project period.  

Total fruit and vegetable incentive dollars from both Federal and Non-Federal funds must be summarized in the Budget Justification with clear affirmation of which budget category or categories were used to calculate totals. For example, a project design may necessitate incentives are included in F.8 Other Direct Costs and F.5 Subawards/Contractual Costs, however, the Budget Justification should clearly describe that total fruit and vegetable incentives are a sum of F.8 and the portion of F.5 specified as incentive.

Non-Federal Match

Yes. Rental costs may be pro-rated and the portion of use charged to the award, either under the Federal funds or matching, if that is the normal procedure for that organization. The Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200.403 states that all costs should be accorded consistent treatment. Therefore, if other funding is provided the organization, or they participate in other projects which use their facility, those projects should also be charged their fair share of the rent. If the organization receives funding from other sources for projects, and those projects are not charged rent fees, then this grant project should not be charged. Applicants should clearly demonstrate how the pro-ration was determined and keep records accordingly for audit purposes. Please refer to the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR Part 200.465 for specific information on rental costs.

While you should obtain matching commitment letters from each of your third parties which explain the dollar amount of the match, when the matching funds/in-kind value will be provided, and how it can/will be spent on the project, these do not need to be included in the application. You must keep these on file for audit purposes. You should include in the application a listing of matching sources to include the name of the organization, the dollar amount of the matching (cash or in-kind) and provide a budget breakout on how these funds will be spent.

Applicants are instructed to include a list of matching sources that includes the identification of entities providing match and the total dollar amount being pledged. The applicant should also provide a breakdown of matching by budget categories (via the SF424 R&R Fed/Non-Fed budget or the budget justification as appropriate) and a justification for such costs (via the budget justification).

Although you should obtain matching commitment letters from each of your third parties to be available upon audit, individual matching support letters are not required as part of the award process. The documentation standards for grantees in meeting matching requirements is not reduced; match requirement must still be met per the standards of 2 CFR Part 200.306

Understanding the legislative authority and applicable use of the proposed Federal funds is crucial. In accordance with 2 CFR Part 200.306(b)(5), any matching funds including cash and third-party in-kind contributions must not be paid by the Federal Government under another Federal award, except where the Federal statute authorizing a program specifically provides that Federal funds made available for such programs can be applied to matching or cost sharing requirements of other Federal programs. Should an authority allow funds to be used as match, please provide evidence of allowability in the budget justification.

An example of allowable Federal fund as match includes funds from the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975, Pub. L. 93-638. When considering tribal Trust and/or fee lands as an in-kind match, applicants are advised to check with BIA, when applicable, for the specific land use for program purposes in case special conditions apply to that land.

Tribal agency applicants may use funds provided to the Indian Tribe or the Tribal agency through a Federal agency (including the Indian Health Service) or other Federal benefit to satisfy all or part of the non-federal share described if such use is otherwise consistent with the purpose of such funds. Examples may include funds provided through the Federally Recognized Tribal Extension Program, the 1994 Extension Program, or the 1994 Equity Program.

SNAP/NAP State/Territory Agencies pay for 50% of the administration of SNAP/NAP and the Federal government pays for the other 50%. This 50% State SNAP/NAP administration cost cannot be used as matching funds for a Nutrition Incentive Project.

Rental of land for garden plots, use of farmer’s markets and/or other project activities is an allowable project expense per 2 CFR § 200.465 and therefore is an allowable match. The value of the land should be prorated to project use and not exceed the fair rental value of comparable land as established by an independent appraisal of similar land in the area. The amount should not be based on the for-sale appraisal value. Documentation, including ownership information, the charge per acre (or other rate charged), number of acres or market spaces, and the total charge should be included in the budget justification. Upon request, the applicant may be asked to produce additional supporting documentation during the pre-award review, including a letter from participating markets and/or an independent appraisal for rental value.

Yes, in-kind contributions are an allowable source of match in accordance with 2 CFR Part 200.306(b) when such contributions are verifiable from records, are not includes as contributions for any other Federal award, are necessary and reasonable for accomplishment of project objectives, are an allowable cost item, and are provided for in the approved budget. 

In-kind contributions include the value of non-cash contributions of property or services. Examples may include use of facilities or donation of equipment, supplies, and other non-expendable property specific to the GusNIP project.

GusNIP legislation 7 U.S.C. 7515 limits, for a for-profit entity, the non-Federal shared shall not include services of an employee, including salaries paid or expenses covered by the employer. In-kind logistical services or supplies would be an allowable source of match.  Applicants must include in the budget justification attestation of non-profit status for partners and collaborators services, salaries, and expenses.

Yes, 48 USC 1469a(d), applies to the GusNIP – Nutrition Incentive Program the same way it is applied to other NIFA programs. For eligible organizations in, American Samoa,  Guam, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands, and Micronesia; the matching requirement of $200,000 or less shall be waived. 

Yes, since you are an eligible organization in the Northern Mariana Islands, and the matching is less than $200,000. 

That is correct, waiving $200,000 is the maximum.  Any matching requirement above that must be included in the grant application.  

No, the 48 USC 1469a(d) matching flexibility does not apply to Puerto Rico.  

Firm/Retailer Partners

It is required to partner with SNAP/NAP authorized retail firms to conduct a nutrition incentive project. Types of SNAP/NAP firms include grocery stores, convenience stores, farmers markets, and direct-marketing farmers (CSAs and farm stands). Before a firm can participate in a GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program project, the applicant/grantee organization must confirm the firm is authorized. The names and addresses of SNAP/NAP authorized firms are available to the public and can be obtained via the SNAP/NAP Retailer Locator map. If the firm is on the map, that means the firm is authorized. The map is updated every two weeks.  Once the applicant/grantee organization has confirmed that the firm is SNAP/NAP authorized, the grantee may move forward with the firm’s participation.  Information on the eligibility requirement and process for SNAP/NAP authorization can be found at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/apply-to-accept 

For any question regarding the status of a firm’s SNAP/NAP authorization, the firm’s owner should contact the SNAP/NAP Retailer Service Center at 1-877-823-4369. 

No, providing locally and regionally produced fruits and vegetables is one of the GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program priorities, but it is not required.

No, farmers markets do not have to have extended hours. GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program priorities include involving firms with extended hours and days of operations, but it is not required.

Before a firm can participate in a GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program project, the applicant/grantee organization and the partner firm must execute a signed MOU. The MOU provides grantees with a means to ensure that partner firms understand their roles and responsibilities and to hold firms accountable for following GusNIP policy and SNAP/NAP rules and regulations, and that core program data sets must be submitted to the NTAE. If the grantee is working with a chain of centrally owned and operated firms, then one MOU that includes all relevant information on every participating firm location will be sufficient. The applicant/grantee organization should keep the original MOU in their records and be able to present it in the event of an audit. 

MOU Resource - https://www.nutritionincentivehub.org/media/fxla45yw/gusnip-firm-mou-template-2019.docx 

Grantees are required to have a Data Use Agreement or an MOU with each firm or sub-grantee that guarantees each firm will provide information required for the core firm-level program data set and to complete an outlet survey of firms to be conducted by the NTAE center.

Technical Assistance and Program Evaluation

The Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information (NTAE) Center provides support at no charge to both potential applicants (before) and grantees (after) for nutrition incentive projects. 

Services include free group sessions, one-on-one support as well as access to templates, checklists, webinars, and other resources to all GusNIP grantees and applicants.  Applicants are highly encouraged to take advantage of these technical assistance resources and services.  Please visit the resource page at:  https://www.nutritionincentivehub.org/resources/resources

The Nutrition Incentive Hub also offers several resources specifically developed to assist with the Request for Applications (RFA). These resources can be found here: https://www.nutritionincentivehub.org/resources/resources/gusnip-request-for-applications/past-rfa-resources-2024 

For specific questions related to proposal development or implementation, the technical assistance team may be reached at:  ta@nutritionincentivehub.org

For specific questions related to reporting and evaluation, please contact evaluation@nutritionincentivehub.org.   

The current GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE Center) is led by the Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition. In partnership with Fair Food Network, they created the Nutrition Incentive Hub, a coalition of partners including the Farmer’s Market Coalition, National Grocers Association Foundation, Michigan Farmers Market Association, and Ecology Center. The Nutrition Incentive Hub coalition of partners support nutrition incentive projects. Currently there is only one GusNIP NTAE Center.

The GusNIP NTAE’s Nutrition Incentive Hub provides free group sessions and one-on-one support - including templates, checklists, webinars, and other resources - to all GusNIP grantees and applicants.  Applicants are highly encouraged to take advantage of these technical assistance resources and services.  Please visit the resource page at: https://www.nutritionincentivehub.org/resources/resources

The Nutrition Incentive Hub also offers several resources specifically developed to assist with the Request for Applications (RFA). These resources can be found here: https://www.nutritionincentivehub.org/resources/resources/gusnip-request-for-applications/produce-prescription-rfa-2024

For specific questions related to proposal development or implementation, the technical assistance team may be reached at: ta@nutritionincentivehub.org

For specific questions related to reporting and evaluation, please contact evaluation@nutritionincentivehub.org.   

FIP and FLSP grantees are required to participate in the collection of core program metrics. Post-award, the Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE) works with each grantee on an individual basis to determine the sample size and sampling plan. Surveys are intended for any participant and must be collected from a sub-sample for each active grant year. Applications must demonstrate a clear understanding that survey participation is not compulsory for SNAP or NAP shoppers to receive incentives.

Comprehensive GusNIP Program Evaluation Table

PROGRAM AREA CODEPROJECT EVALUATIONCOMPREHENSIVE PROGRAM EVALUATION
FPPProcess evaluation
  1. Required to participate
  2. Participation includes conducting a project self-assessment and providing self-assessment data to the Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, & Information
FIPProcess & outcome evaluation
  1. Required to participate
  2. Collect minimum core data set
  3. Collaborate with the Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE)
  4. Contribute minimum core data set to the NTAE
FLSPProcess & outcome evaluation
  1. Required to participate
  2. Collect minimum core data set
  3. Collaborate with the Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Center (NTAE)
  4. Contribute minimum core data set to the NTAE

For additional questions, please see contact information in the RFA

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