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Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program - Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP-NI)

The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) presents the opportunity to bring together stakeholders from various parts of the food and healthcare systems to foster understanding of how they might improve the health and nutrition status of participating households.  

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For additional information about GuSNIP, please visit our Program page.


Overview

The Nutrition Incentive Program aims to develop and evaluate projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by providing incentives at the point of purchase among income eligible consumers participating in the USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and the United States Virgin Islands, in addition to income-eligible consumers participating in the USDA Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands

Dear Applicants,

Please review the information and application guidance in the links below carefully to prepare a complete application. Applications that do not satisfy all initial screening criteria are at risk of being returned without review.

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Eligibility

Applicants to GusNIP programs are encouraged to partner and collaborate broadly throughout the healthcare system and the food system.  Non-profit organizations and government agencies are eligible to apply for the GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program.

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Funding Opportunity (RFA) 

Thank you for your interest in the GusNIP competitive grant programs. This funding opportunity is closed. At the beginning of each fiscal year, NIFA publishes for the Upcoming RFA Calendar for all NIFA funding opportunities. This calendar is regularly updated. Use the link below to access a copy of the Request for Application (RFA) and the Technical Assistance Webinar. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Visit the GusNIP-NI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page to review common applicant questions about eligibility, program policy, and the GusNIP SNAP/NAP Policy FAQ page for questions about Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Nutrition Assistance Program (NAP) policy, program areas, and application requirements.

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GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information (NTAE)

The GusNIP NTAE’s Nutrition Incentive Hub provides free one-on-one support, as well as 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.

For prospective and current GusNIP grantees or applicants, the Nutrition Incentive Hub also offers several resources specifically developed to assist with the Request for Applications (RFA). 

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

For specific questions related to reporting and evaluation, the reporting and evaluation team may be reached at: evaluation@nutritionincentivehub.org.
   
A list of current GusNIP Nutrition Incentive awardees can be found on the Nutrition Incentive Hub’s map of grantee projects.

Letter of Support from NTAE - Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP-NI) letter requests received by midnight ET each Friday will be sent to requestors the following Tuesday; with the exception of the week of May 1st as the RFA is due on May 4th. During this final week of the open RFA period all letter requests forms must be received by midnight ET on Tuesday, May 2nd. We strongly encourage applicants to request their letter well in advance of May 2nd.

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Underrepresented Communities and Geographies

NIFA encourages applicants to propose projects that serve underrepresented communities and geographies.  Underrepresented communities include tribal communities, communities of color, LGBTQ+ communities, individuals with disabilities, Veterans, rural and remote communities, insular areas, or communities with residents predominantly living under the Federal poverty line.

The underrepresented geographies are determined based on States and Territories that are not a primary place of performance for a GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program (NI) awardee project.  For FY2023 NI applications from the following States and Territories are underrepresented geographies. 

  • Alaska 
  • American Samoa
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands 
  • Connecticut 
  • Delaware 
  • Guam
  • Idaho 
  • Kansas 
  • Kentucky 
  • Maine 
  • New Hampshire 
  • North Dakota 
  • Puerto Rico
  • South Carolina 
  • South Dakota 
  • Tennessee 
  • U.S. Virgin Islands 
  • Vermont 
  • Wyoming
Map of the United States showing the underrepresented geographies are determined based on States and Territories that are not a primary place of performance for a GusNIP Nutrition Incentive Program (NI) awardee project.

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Application Guideline Resources

NIFA Grants.gov Application Guide
The Application Guide is part of the corresponding application package for this RFA and provides guidance to help applicants prepare and submit their GusNIP application. 

Note: The RFA overrides the Application Guide if there is a discrepancy between the two documents. 

Grants 101
The Grants.Gov Grants 101 tool is an online resource that gives a synopsis of the basics behind the grant life cycle and the overall management that comes with a grant. 

Logic Model Guide
The logic model is the diagram or chart depicting your organization's planned work and intended results for a given project. A logic model is required for GusNIP applications and is limited to one page (see under Part IV § B of the RFA). Below are resources from NIFA and the GusNIP NTAE Center around Logic Models.

Data Management Plan (DMP)
A DMP is required for this program. Applicants should clearly articulate how the project director (PD) and co-PDs plan to manage and disseminate the data generated by the project. A DMP of no more than two pages should be uploaded as an Other Attachment, Field 12. The DMP will be considered during the merit review process (see Part V § B of this RFA, Part III § 3.1 of the Application Guide and NIFA’s Data Management Plan). Below are resources to help applicants develop a DMP.

Institutional Review Board
Institutional Review Boards (IRBs) are administrative organizations established to protect the rights, privacy and welfare of human subjects that are recruited to participate in research activities. All GusNIP grantees are required to engage in an IRB review to ensure that research and evaluation activities are ethical, unbiased, and complies with laws and regulations designed to protect program participants. Upon request, the NTAE can also help applicants navigate the IRB process and determine the best IRB through which to submit for approval (submit requests to evaluation@nutritionincentivehub.org).

Please visit the suite of resources to help applicants navigate IRB requirements.

Evaluation Resources
Project evaluations must follow USDA guidelines to ensure an appropriate level of comparability of methods, outcomes, and measures that will inform the USDA of potential new strategies and promising new programs to consider in future funding cycles. All grantees (except GusNIP Pilot Projects) will be required to participate in the GusNIP comprehensive program evaluation, which involves collecting a core set of participant-level and firm-level metrics, in cooperation with the Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Centers (NTAE).

All GusNIP Pilot Projects must submit a project proposal that includes a self-assessment method of evaluating the success of the program in developing a viable project, such as process evaluation or formative evaluation (see under Part I § C , point 1 of the RFA). Because GusNIP Pilot Projects are in the earliest stages of development and would not offer a fair test of outcome effectiveness, they will only be required to submit limited information and data for the GusNIP comprehensive program evaluation that will inform the USDA of potential new strategies and promising new programs to consider in future funding cycles. Project assessments must follow USDA guidelines to ensure an appropriate level of comparability of methods, outcomes, and measures. Pilot Project grantees will be required to provide their self-assessment data to the Nutrition Incentive Program Training, Technical Assistance, Evaluation, and Information Centers (NTAE). In addition to general requirements, all Nutrition Incentive (NI) projects must involve SNAP/NAP participants.

Avoid Common Mistakes 
These mistakes commonly lead Nutrition Incentive Program applications to be administratively declined without further review. Prior to submitting your application, carefully review your materials to ensure you do not miss an administrative requirement. 

  1. The matching funds are not one-to-one match or higher. 
  2. The project budget justification is not included in the application or is not in PDF format. 
  3. The application is submitted late.  Applications are late at 5:01pm ET on the due date.   
  4. The SNAP/NAP state/territory agency letter of support is not included in the application, is not from the SNAP/NAP implementing agency, or is outdated. 
  5. The bibliography is not included in the application or is not in PDF format. 
  6. The NTAE consultation letter is not included in the application or is not in PDF format. 
  7. The project narrative is not included in the application or is not in PDF format. 
  8. The current and pending support documents for project directors and co-project directors are not included in the application. 

Tips for Success 
Follow these tips to help ensure your application will pass administrative review and move on to the peer review process. This list is not designed to be comprehensive; refer to the Nutrition Incentive Program Request for Applications (RFA) for detailed requirements and instructions. 

  1. Plan early for your 1-on-1 consultation with the Nutrition Incentive Hub, request the letter of verification/support, and upload the PDF verification letter they provide in field 12 of your application. 
  2. Review the matching funds requirements (RFA Part III.B.) and ensure your match is one-to-one with your federal budget request or higher. 
  3. Include a budget and budget justification in PDF format in your application. 
  4. Include an up-to-date letter of support for your project from the local SNAP/NAP implementing agency. 
  5. Include a bibliography in PDF format in your application. 
  6. Include current and pending support documents in PDF format for the project director and all co-project directors in your application. 
  7. Convert all application documents to PDF format prior to attaching them in Grants.gov. 
  8. Review the detailed description of the content and form of the application in Part IV.B. of the RFA. 

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Core Metrics

Participant-Level Metrics:
All GusNIP Nutrition Incentive grantees, except for GusNIP Pilot Projects, will be required to collect participant-level core metrics from a subsample of their participants over the course of their award. 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. The NTAE will work with each grantee to determine the sample size and sampling plan.

Please visit the suite of resources to help applicants with participant-level metrics, including a list of the core metrics, surveys, and more. 

Firm-Level Metrics: 
All GusNIP grantees, with the exception of GusNIP Pilot Projects, are required to collect firm-level core metrics from all participating GusNIP institutions, including farmers markets, mobile markets, grocery stores, corner stores, CSA programs, or any other institution types.

Please visit the suite of resources to help applicants with firm-level metrics, including a list of core metrics, and firm-level reporting instructions.

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Indirect Costs

Review the NIFA Indirect Costs page for details on claiming indirect costs.

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Resources for Applicants

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Resources for Awardees

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