Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program

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Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program pdf




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Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program - page 1
Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program 2012 Request for Applications APPLICATION DEADLINE: November 17, 2011 U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture
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Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program - page 2
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURE; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program INITIAL ANNOUNCEMENT CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE: This program is listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance under 10.225. DATES: Applications must be received by close of business (COB) on November 17, 2011(5:00 p.m. Eastern Time). Applications received after this deadline will normally not be considered for funding. Comments regarding this request for applications (RFA) are requested within six months from the issuance of this notice. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable. STAKEHOLDER INPUT: The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is requesting comments regarding this RFA from any interested party. These comments will be considered in the development of the next RFA for the program, if applicable, and will be used to meet the requirements of section 103(c)(2) of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (7 U.S.C. 7613(c)(2)). This section requires the Secretary to solicit and consider input on a current RFA from persons who conduct or use agricultural research, education and extension for use in formulating future RFAs for competitive programs. Written stakeholder comments on this RFA should be submitted in accordance with the deadline set forth in the DATES portion of this Notice. Written stakeholder comments should be submitted by mail to: Policy and Oversight Division; Office of Grants and Financial Management; National Institute of Food and Agriculture; USDA; STOP 2299; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW; Washington, DC 20250-2299; or via e-mail to: [email protected] (This e-mail address is intended only for receiving comments regarding this RFA and not requesting information or forms.) In your comments, please state that you are responding to the Community Food Projects RFA. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: NIFA requests applications for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP) for fiscal year (FY) 2012 to support: (1) the development of Community Food Projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining; (2) Planning Projects to assess the food security needs and plan long-term solutions to help ensure food security in communities; and (3) a project that provides Training and Capacity Building on a nationwide basis to entities interested in developing new Community Food Projects or assisting current grantees and others to effectively operate their food security projects. It is anticipated that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2012 will be approximately $5,000,000. This notice identifies the objectives for CFPCGP projects, the eligibility criteria for projects and applicants, and the application forms and associated instructions needed to apply for a CFPCGP 2
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grant. NIFA additionally requests stakeholder input from any interested party for use in the development of the next RFA for this program. Prior to submitting their applications, prospective applicants are encouraged to participant in a Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program pre-application submission webinar. The purpose of the webinar will be to discuss the matching requirement and what costs are allowable on the project. It is strongly encouraged that all applicants participate in the webinar on October 27, 2011 between 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm Eastern Time. The webinar will be recorded and posted on the NIFA internet site for future reference. 3
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Table of Contents PART I—FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION .............................................................. 5 A. Legislative Authority and Background ................................................................................... 5 B. Purpose and Priorities ............................................................................................................. 5 C. Program Area Description ...................................................................................................... 5 PART II—AWARD INFORMATION........................................................................................... 8 A. Available Funding .................................................................................................................. 8 B. Types of Applications ............................................................................................................. 8 C. Project Types .......................................................................................................................... 8 PART III—ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION ............................................................................... 10 A. Eligible Applicants ............................................................................................................... 10 B. Cost Sharing or Matching ..................................................................................................... 10 PART IV—APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION ......................................... 12 A. Electronic Application Package ............................................................................................ 12 B. Content and Form of Application Submission...................................................................... 13 C. Submission Dates and Times ................................................................................................ 21 D. Funding Restrictions ............................................................................................................. 21 E. Other Submission Requirements ........................................................................................... 22 PART V—APPLICATION REVIEW REQUIREMENTS .......................................................... 24 A. General .................................................................................................................................. 24 B. Evaluation Criteria ................................................................................................................ 24 C. Conflicts of Interest and Confidentiality............................................................................... 27 D. Organizational Management Information............................................................................. 27 PART VI—AWARD ADMINISTRATION ................................................................................ 28 A. General .................................................................................................................................. 28 B. Award Notice ........................................................................................................................ 28 C. Administrative and National Policy Requirements............................................................... 29 D. Expected Program Outputs and Reporting Requirements .................................................... 30 PART VII—AGENCY CONTACT ............................................................................................. 31 PART VIII—OTHER INFORMATION ...................................................................................... 32 A. Access to Review Information.............................................................................................. 32 B. Use of Funds; Changes ......................................................................................................... 32 C. Confidential Aspects of Applications and Awards ............................................................... 33 D. Regulatory Information ........................................................................................................ 33 E. Definitions ............................................................................................................................. 33 4
Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program - page 5
PART I—FUNDING OPPORTUNITY DESCRIPTION A. Legislative Authority and Background The CFPCGP legislative authority is located in Section 25 of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2034), as amended by the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 and Section 4402 of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-246), which authorizes a program of federal grants to establish and carry out Community Food Projects. In FY 2012, it is anticipated that approximately $5,000,000 will be available to support the CFPCGP. B. Purpose and Priorities The primary goals of the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program (CFPCGP) are to: Meet the food needs of low-income individuals; Increase the self-reliance of communities in providing for the food needs of the communities; Promote comprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues; and Meet specific state, local or neighborhood food and agricultural needs including needs relating to: o Infrastructure improvement and development; o Planning for long-term solutions; or o The creation of innovative marketing activities that mutually benefit agricultural producers and low-income consumers. Community Food Projects are intended to bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system and to foster understanding of national food security trends and how they might improve local food systems. Applications are being solicited for the CFPCGP under the following areas: In FY 2012 NIFA’s CFPCGP intends to solicit applications and fund three types of grants. The types are entitled (1) Community Food Projects (CFP), (2) Planning Projects (PP) and Training and Capacity Building (TCB) Projects. C. Program Area Description 1. Community Food Projects (CFP) The purpose of the CFP is to support the development of projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining. CFPs should be designed to create community-based food projects with objectives, activities and outcomes that are in alignment with CFPCGP primary goals. Preference will be given to CFPs designed to: (i) Develop connections between two or more sectors of the food system; 5
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(ii) (iii) (iv) Support the development of entrepreneurial projects; Develop innovative connections between the for-profit and nonprofit food sectors; or Encourage long-term planning activities, and multi-system, interagency approaches with collaborations from multiple stakeholders that build the long-term capacity of communities to address the food and agricultural problems of the communities, such as food policy councils and food planning associations. Examples of CFP projects include, but are not limited to, community gardens with market stands, value chain projects, food hubs, farmers’ markets, farm-to-institutions projects, and marketing & consumer cooperatives. All projects must involve low-income participants. 2. Planning Projects The purpose of a Planning Project (PP) is to complete a plan toward the improvement of community food security in keeping with the primary goals of the CFPCGP (see Part I, B.). PPs are to focus on a defined community and describe in detail the activities and outcomes of the planning project. Preference will be given to PPs designed to plan for: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) Connections between two or more sectors of the food system; The development of entrepreneurial projects; Innovative connections between the for-profit and nonprofit food sectors; and/or Long-term activities and multi-system, interagency approaches with collaborations from multiple stakeholders that build the long-term capacity of communities to address the food and agricultural problems of the community, such as food policy councils and food planning associations. Examples of PP projects include, but are not limited to, community food assessments, coordination of collaboration development, GIS analysis, food sovereignty study, and farm-to- institution exploration. All projects must involve low-income participants. 3. Training and Capacity Building Project(s) The primary purpose of the Training and Capacity Building Project (TCB) is to assist eligible applicants in the development and submission of Community Food Projects (CFP) and Planning Projects (PP) proposals and assist current program grantees and others to more effectively operate their food security projects. In FY 2012, NIFA will award multi-year grants that include collaboration with a broad spectrum of training providers representing the variety of expertise needed to support increasing community food security. Collaboration among providers should provide a one-stop service to applicants requesting assistance. Projects should be designed to have national relevance. No pilot projects will be considered in this category. Expertise should encompass the broad array of community food activities that lead to meeting CFPCGP goals. Organizations that can demonstrate an involvement in community food security issues and programs, and training expertise are strongly encouraged to apply. 6
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Examples of services offered include, but are not limited to, assistance in project development, grantsmanship training, project evaluation, leadership development, and/or assistance on a particular type of project, for example, youth farm enterprises, urban farms, community gardens, direct marketing, and farm-to-institution methods. Activities include, but are not limited to, telephone hotline, workshop training, peer to peer interaction, one on one training, curricula development, webinars, and/or video-conferencing. 7
Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program - page 8
PART II—AWARD INFORMATION A. Available Funding There is no commitment by USDA to fund any particular application or to make a specific number of awards. It is anticipated that approximately $5,000,000 will be available to fund applications in FY 2012. Awards issued as a result of this RFA will have designated the Automated Standard Applications for Payment System (ASAP), operated by the Department of Treasury’s Financial Management Service, as the payment system for funds. For more information see http://www.nifa.usda.gov/business/method_of_payment.html. B. Types of Applications In FY 2012, applications may be submitted to the CFPCGP Program as one of the following two types of requests: (1) New application . This is a project application that has not been previously submitted to the Program. All new applications will be reviewed competitively using the selection process and evaluation criteria described in Part V—Application Review Requirements. (2) Resubmitted application . This is an application that had previously been submitted to the Program but was not funded. Project Directors (PDs) must respond to the previous review panel summary (see Response to Previous Review, Part IV, B.c). Resubmitted applications must be received by the relevant due dates, will be evaluated in competition with other pending applications in appropriate area to which they are assigned, and will be reviewed according to the same evaluation criteria as new applications. C. Project Types 1. Community Food Projects (CFP) Applicants should request a budget commensurate with the proposed project. No single CFP award shall exceed $125,000 in any single year or more than $300,000 over three years. Applications that exceed the budgetary guidelines will not be reviewed. Applicants may request one, two or three years of funding, but in all cases, the grant term may not exceed three years for any proposal. A CFP project may be supported by only one grant under this program. All CFP 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. USDA reserves the right to negotiate final budgets with successful applicants. 8
Community Foods Projects Competitive Grant Program - page 9
2. Planning Projects (PP) Applicants should request a budget commensurate with the proposed project. No single PP award shall exceed $25,000 for the total budget period. The maximum PP award period shall not exceed three years. Applications that exceed the budgetary guidelines will not be reviewed. All PP 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. USDA reserves the right to negotiate final budgets with successful applicants. 3. Training and Capacity Building (TCB) Projects Applicants should request a budget commensurate with the proposed project. It is anticipated that awards will be made for $500,000 total over a two to three year period. The grant term may not exceed three years. Applications that exceed the budgetary guidelines will not be reviewed. 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. USDA reserves the right to negotiate final budgets with successful applicants. 9
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PART III—ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION A. Eligible Applicants 1. CFP, PP and TCB Eligibility Only private, nonprofit entities meeting the following three requirements are eligible to receive a CFP or PP grant: (a) have experience in the area of (i) community food work, particularly concerning small and medium-size farms, including the provision of food to people in low- income communities and the development of new markets in low-income communities for agricultural producers; or (ii) job training and business development activities for food-related activities in low-income communities; (b) demonstrate competency to implement a project, provide fiscal accountability, collect data, and prepare reports and other necessary documentation; and (c) demonstrate a willingness to share information with researchers, evaluators, practitioners, and other interested parties, including a plan for dissemination of results. 2. Partners and Collaborators Applicants for CFP, PP, or TCB Project 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, and local government entities. Only the applicant must meet the eligibility requirements. Project partners and collaborators need not meet the eligibility requirements. Award recipients may subcontract to organizations not eligible to apply provided such organizations are necessary for the successful completion of the project. See Part IV, D., Funding Restrictions. Fiscal Agent If an institution/organization cannot accept Federal funds directly, it must submit a letter stating that it will accept the award, but that funds must be administered through a fiscal agent organization. This agent must be identified in the letter from the applicant and the letter must be countersigned by an authorized representative of the fiscal agent organization. The letter should include the fiscal agent’s point of contact, address, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. Both the fiscal agent organization and the applicant school or institution/organization must submit complete management information (see Part V, D.). Nevertheless, the legal recipient of the award (as identified on the applicant’s SF 424 (R&R) Cover Sheet) must be an eligible CFP, PP, or TCB, as defined above. (Submission of fiscal agent information (above) is not requested now, but will be required, before an award is made.) B. Cost Sharing or Matching CFP and PP applicants MUST provide matching 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. CFP and PP grantees may provide matching funds through cash and/or in-kind contributions, including third-party in-kind contributions fairly evaluated, including facilities. 10
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