Farmers? Market Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Support Grants

These funds are intended to support the participation of farmers? markets in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP.) Specifically, the goals of FMSSG are to increase SNAP accessibility and participation at farmers? markets, and support the establishment, expansion, and promotion of SNAP/Electronic
Benefits Transfer (EBT) services at farmers? markets.
Related Programs10.168 Farmers' Market Promotion Program; 10.572 WIC Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (FMNP); 10.575 Farm to School Grant Program; 10.576 Senior Farmers Market Nutrition ProgramExamples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2016: Fiscal Year 2016: Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden ? New Bern, NC Place-Based Initiative: Strike Force State Awarded: $42,000 The Veterans Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden worked with veteran farmers to support operations of a SNAP authorized farmers market that is fueled by the organization?s organic garden.

The project provided training to farmers on how to accept SNAP and how to grow and maintain a steady SNAP client base.

Fiscal Year 2017: There were no new projects funded during this period.

Fiscal Year 2018: Currently there is no plan to fund new projects during this period.


Agency - Department of Agriculture

Established in 1862, the Department of Agriculture serves all Americans through anti-hunger efforts, stewardship of nearly 200 million acres of national forest and rangelands, and through product safety and conservation efforts. The USDA opens markets for American farmers and ranchers and provides food for needy people around the world.




Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: In FY 16, FMSSG funded three projects for a total of $532,014. Fiscal Year 2017: There were no new projects funded during this period. Fiscal Year 2018: Currently there is no plan to fund new projects during this period.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Funds must be used to conduct tasks necessary for SNAP to operate at farmers markets, and to increase the number and effectiveness of farmers market participation in SNAP.

As such, eligible uses include, but not necessarily limited to: salaries and benefits for time spent on SNAP activities, tasks for market(s); creating/operating systems (such as scrip, accounting, record-keeping) necessary to make SNAP operational at market(s); training and technical assistance to farmers market volunteers, vendors, and employees on SNAP; creating SNAP outreach and educational materials and performing outreach to current SNAP participants to inform them they may use their SNAP benefits at farmers markets; miscellaneous equipment, other than SNAP-EBT equipment -- such as scrip, wifi hotspots, accounting software, etc.

? necessary for SNAP-EBT equipment to operate at farmers markets.

The funds must be used to further the goals of FMSSG, which specifically relate to the operation of SNAP at farmers markets.

Accordingly, uses that do not relate to that purpose are impermissible.

100% of these funds are discretionary.

The funds must be used to further the goals of FMSSG, which specifically relate to the operation of SNAP at farmers? markets.

Accordingly, uses that do not relate to that purpose are impermissible.

100% of these funds are discretionary.

Funds must be used to conduct tasks necessary for SNAP to operate at farmers? markets, and to increase the number and effectiveness of farmers? market participation in SNAP.

As such, eligible uses include, but not necessarily limited to: Salaries and benefits for time spent on SNAP activities, tasks for market(s); creating/operating systems (such as scrip, accounting, record-keeping) necessary to make SNAP operational at market(s); training and technical assistance to farmers? market volunteers, vendors, and employees on SNAP; creating SNAP outreach and educational materials and performing outreach to current SNAP participants to inform them they may use their SNAP benefits at farmers? markets; miscellaneous equipment, other than SNAP-EBT equipment -- such as scrip, wifi hotspots, accounting software, etc.

? necessary for SNAP-EBT equipment to operate at farmers? markets.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The funds must be used to further the goals of FMSSG, which specifically relate to the operation of SNAP at farmers? markets.

Accordingly, uses that do not relate to that purpose are impermissible.

To the extent that the entities use the funds for such purposes, they are eligible.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The funds must be used to further the goals of FMSSG, which specifically relate to the operation of SNAP at farmers? markets. Accordingly, uses that do not relate to that purpose are impermissible. To the extent that the entities use the funds for such purposes, they are eligible beneficiaries.

Credentials/Documentation

Farmers' Markets that participate in FMSSG must be SNAP-authorized retailers. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.

12372.

Application Procedures

2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. All FMSSG proposals are submitted via Grants.gov. Required and suggested application forms are available online at http://www.fns.usda.gov/ebt/learn-about-snap-benefits-farmers-markets. FNS strongly encourages applicants to adhere to the application format. The proposed project plan are typed on 8 ? X 11? white paper, with at least one-inch margins on the top and bottom, using FNS-10-545A. All pages should be single-spaced, printed only on one-side, in 12 point font. The project description, including all relevant information, should be no longer than 10 pages, not including the cover sheet, key personnel qualifications, letters of commitment, project implementation addresses, charts created using the Census Bureau?s American Community Survey (ACS) website, and required forms. Applications should include the following: Cover Sheet and Project Narrative (templates can be found in FNS-10-545A) FNS strongly encourages applicants to use FNS-10-545A when preparing their Project Narrative. Even if they choose not to do so, Project Narratives must include the following information: Requested FMSNAP Funding and Matching Funding; Entity Type; Background Statement; Goals/Purposes of the Project; Approach; Impact; Partnerships and Donations. Budget Documents Applicants should submit a Budget Summary that itemizes, line-by-line, each proposed Budget Item. Applicants must also submit a Budget Narrative. The Budget Narrative must justify and support the bona fide needs of the project costs, and must correspond with the Budget Summary. Proposed Budget Items must correlate to the purpose/goals of the project; and must be reasonable, necessary, allocatable, and allowable for the proposed work. FNS strongly encourages applicants to use form FNS-10-545B when preparing their Budget Summary and for additional guidance on preparing their Budget Narrative. Neither the Budget Summary nor the Budget Narrative count toward the Project Narrative?s page limit. The Budget Summary must include the following Budget Categories, and the Budget Narrative must provide justification for each Budget Item proposed under those categories. If an applicant does not propose a Budget Item under a particular Budget Category, indicate 'None' in the 'Itemization' column and '$0' in the 'Requested Budget' column: Personnel and Contractual; Equipment; Supplies; Other Supplemental Documents Letters and/or other evidence of commitment should establish the fact that critical resources and infrastructure required to initiate and implement the project are in place at the time of proposal submission. Required supplemental documents include: Key Personnel Qualifications; Letters of Commitment.

Award Procedures

FNS pre-screens applications to ensure they contain all required information. Applications that do not include complete copies of forms SF-424, SF-424A, SF-424B, SF LLL, and (in the case of corporations, regardless of whether they are for-profit or non-profit) AD-3030, are considered non-responsive and eliminated from further consideration. Applications that do not include all required information, as described in the RFA, FNS-10-545A, and FNS-10-545B have points deducted during the evaluation process. Following the initial screening process, FNS may divide applications into two or more groups ? based on whether they are submitted by individual organizations or partnerships, scope of proposed projects, and/or similar characteristics ? so that similar applications may be compared against each other. FNS assembles panels to review and score each application based on technical merits. The panels evaluate the proposals based on how well they address the evaluation criteria described in the RFA. The panels recommend the highest scoring applications for grant awards. The Selecting Official reserves the right to award a grant based solely on scoring, but may also consider agency priorities, program balance, available funding, geographical representation, or project diversity. When considering whether to award a grant, FNS may request that proposed Project Narratives and/or Budgets documents be revised. FNS contacts applicants to negotiate these revisions. Alternatively, applicants may choose not to revise their project proposal. During past awards, the following criteria were used to evaluate applications for FMSSG funds: Goals/Purpose (12 points); Approach (40 points); Workplan; Personnel; Resources (Non-personnel resources, such as land, building, equipment, supplies, etc.); Sustainability; Partnerships; Budget (20 points); Impact (20 points); and whether the project activities take place in SNAP Priority areas (30 points);.

Deadlines

Not Applicable.

Authorization

President?s FY 2014 budget request for FNS (The Food and Nutrition Service: 2014, Explanatory Notes), as enacted (in continuation of previous year appropriations) by P.L. 113-235, Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, Public Law 113-235.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days. No Farmers Market SNAP Support Grants are available at this time.

Appeals

Non-selected applicants may request a debriefing, outlining the strengths and weaknesses of their proposal.

Renewals

Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

FMSSG funds are awarded for projects with a minimum duration of 13 months and a maximum of 36 months. However, FNS determines the grant performance period. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: by letter of credit.

Post Assistance Requirements

Reports

Program reports are not applicable.

Award recipients are required to enter the SF-425, Financial Status Report data into the FNS Food Program Reporting System (FPRS) on a quarterly basis.

A final Financial Status Report is required by no later than 90 days after the termination date of the grant project.

In order to access FPRS, the grant recipient obtain USDA e-authentication certification and access to FPRS.

More detailed instructions for reporting are included in the FNS Federal grant award package.

Grant recipients are responsible for managing and monitoring the progress of the grant project activities and performance.

The award document should indicate the reporting schedule for submitting project performance/progress reports to FNS.

In order to make reporting efficient and consistent, grantees are asked to use an online account to set up profiles with baseline information and submit progress reports through the Farmers Market Coalition portal at www.fmctoolbox.org, as required in the FMSNAP General Award Terms and Conditions.

Baseline data is entered at the start of each award project, and grantees submit progress reports into this database on a six month basis.

Proposed budgets area required to reflect time allocated to reporting metrics. For grants involving the re-granting of funds to individual markets, please note that ALL participating markets are expected to establish and maintain reporting accounts, using the same reporting timeframe as the lead grantee.

Recipients have been required to submit 6-month interim performance reports after the award?s anniversary date, as provided by FMSNAP, until a Final Performance Report is required.

Final performance reporting requirements are due within 90 days following the grant ending date.

Award recipient are required to enter the SF-425, Financial Status Report data into the FNS Food Program Reporting System (FPRS) on a quarterly basis.

A final Financial Status Report is required by no later than 90 days after the termination date of the grant project.

In order to access FPRS, the grant recipient must obtain USDA e-authentication certification and access to FPRS.

More detailed instructions for reporting are included in FNS Federal grant award packages.

See section on Progress Reports.

Audits

No audits are required for this program.

Records

Financial records, records of project activities, according to the metrics selected by the grantee and agreed to by FNS, for the duration of the projects, which may be as long as 36 months. Metrics and records will vary from project to project, but may include items such as: o Increase in dollar value of SNAP transactions (per day, week, month, year, etc.) o Increase in number of SNAP transactions o Increase in number of farmers? markets redeeming SNAP benefits o Increase in number of farmer-producers redeeming SNAP benefits o Increase in number of SNAP participants redeeming benefits at farmers? markets. o Number of market staff trained o Number of farmer-producers trained o Number and type of SNAP outreach marketing materials disseminated o Number and attendance for educational, informational, and outreach events hosted.

Financial Information

Account Identification

12-3505-0-1-605.

Obigations

(Salaries) FY 16 $532,014; FY 17 est $0; and FY 18 est $0 - FMSSG funds are a multi-year award process. Funds were awarded in FY 2015 and FY 2016. No funds were awarded in FY 2017. Currently there is no plan to fund new projects for FY 18. Projects had a minimum duration of 13 months and a maximum of 36 months. For FY15, $8,100,000 was awarded to 52 projects in 23 states. For FY16 FMSSG funded three projects for a total of $532,014.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The range of awards are FM$15,000 to $250,000, spread over a three year period.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

As approved by Congress in the President?s FY 2014 budget request for FNS (The Food and Nutrition Service: 2014, Explanatory Notes), these funds are intended to support ?the participation of farmers? markets in SNAP by providing equipment and support grants to new markets and those currently participating in the program.'

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

None.

Headquarters Office

Patrick Kelley 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22303 Email: patrick.kelley@fns.usda.gov Phone: 703-756-0230

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

In years that grants are funded, FNS assembles panels to review and score applications based on technical merits. The panels evaluate the proposals based on how well they address the evaluation criteria described in the RFA. The panels recommend the highest scoring applications for grant awards. The Selecting Official reserve the right to award a grant based solely on scoring, but may also consider agency priorities, program balance, available funding, geographical representation, or project diversity. The following criteria have been used in the past to evaluate applications for FMSSG funds: Goals/Purpose (12 points); Approach (40 points); Workplan; Personnel; Resources (Non-personnel resources, such as land, building, equipment, supplies, etc.); Sustainability; Partnerships; Budget (20 points); Impact (20 points); and whether the project activities take place in SNAP Priority areas (30 points).


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