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Fresh Produce Market

Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program - Produce Prescription (GusNIP-PPR)

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.


For additional information about GusNIP, please visit our Program Page.


NIFA requests applications for the GusNIP Produce Prescription Program to conduct projects that demonstrate and evaluate the impact of fresh fruit and vegetable prescriptions to (1) increase procurement and consumption of fruits and vegetables, (2) reduce individual and household food insecurity, and (3) reduce healthcare usage and associated costs.

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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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 Produce Prescription Program.

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Funding Opportunity

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-PPR Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page to review common applicant questions about eligibility, program policy, program area, and application.

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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 - 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.

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:

For specific questions related to reporting and evaluation, the reporting and evaluation team may be reached at:

A list of current GusNIP Produce Prescription awardees can be found on the Nutrition Incentive Hub’s map of grantee projects. 

Letter of Support from NTAE - Produce Prescription Program (GusNIP-PPR) letter requests received by midnight ET each Friday will be sent to requestors the following Tuesday; with the exception of the week of May 14th as the RFA is due on May 16th. During this final week of the open RFA period all letter requests forms must be received by midnight ET on Sunday, May 14th. We strongly encourage applicants to request their letter well in advance of May 14th.

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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 for the Produce Prescription Program (PPR) are determined based on States and Territories that are not a primary place of performance for a PPR awardee project. For FY2023 PPR applications from the following States and Territories are underrepresented geographies. 

  • Alabama
  • American Samoa
  • Arizona
  • Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands
  • Delaware
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Guam
  • Idaho
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming
Map of the United States showing the underrepresented geographies for the Produce Prescription Program.

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Application Guideline Resources

NIFA Application Guide
The Application Guide is part of the corresponding application package for this RFA. 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 highlights and 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 is ethical, unbiased, and complies with laws and regulations designed to protect program participants. The NTAE can help applicants navigate the IRB process and determine the best IRB through which to submit for approval. 

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 Produce Prescription grantees 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).

Avoid Common Mistakes 
These mistakes have commonly lead Produce Prescription 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 project budget request is higher than the maximum allowable award amount. 
  2. The project budget justification is not included in the application or is not in PDF format. 
  3. The healthcare partner letter of support is not included in the application or does not clearly define the role of the healthcare partner in the project. 
  4. The project narrative is not included in the application, is not in PDF format, or does not follow page limit guidelines. 
  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 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 Produce Prescription Program Request for Applications (RFA) for detailed requirements and instructions. 

  1. Confirm your organization is eligible to apply for the program, see Part III.A. of the RFA. 
  2. 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. 
  3. Verify the eligibility of your healthcare partner (Part III.A. of the RFA) and ensure their support letter details how they will be part of the project. 
  4. Include a budget and budget justification in your application, ensuring the total budget request does not exceed the maximum allowable amount ($500,000; Part I.C. of the RFA). 
  5. Include a project narrative in PDF format that does not exceed the page limit (15 pages; Part IV.B. of the RFA). 
  6. Include a bibliography in PDF format in your application. 
  7. Convert all application documents to PDF format prior to attaching them in 
  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 Produce Prescription grantees will be required to collect participant-level core metrics from a subsample of their participants over the course of their award. Both baseline (pre-program) and post-program surveys are required to be collected from this subsample. The sample size is based on the ability to detect 0.25 cups/day change in FV consumption. The NTAE will work with each grantee on an individual basis 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, baseline and post surveys, and more.  

Please visit this healthcare outcomes of interest resource for clinical markers, healthcare utilization, and healthcare cost measures. 

Firm-Level Metrics
Firm-level core metrics will be required of all participating GusNIP firms, including onsite farmers markets, mobile markets or mobile clinics, grocery stores/pharmacies, corner stores, CSA programs, or any other firm 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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Template Letter from Healthcare Partner  

Signed letter(s) of support from at least one healthcare partner are to be attached to the applications under this RFA. Please view the template letter from a healthcare partner

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Resources for Applicants

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Resources for Awardees

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