Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program

The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase.

General Information

Grantees conduct a project assessment as well as cooperate with and contribute to independent evaluations to determine the relative effectiveness of the grant program in achieving the legislative goals of “increasing fruit and vegetable purchases” and “improving the nutrition and health status” of participating households (Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, § 4405(b)(4)(A)). NIFA anticipates the amount available for grants under this program in fiscal years 2014 and 2015 will total up to $31.5 million.

There are three categories of projects:

(1) FINI Pilot Projects (awards not to exceed a total of $100,000 over one year);
(2) Multi-year, community-based FINI Projects (awards not to exceed a total of $500,000 over no more than four years); and
(3) Multi-year, FINI Large-Scale Projects (awards of $500,000 or more over no more than four years).

All FINI projects must:

  1. Have the support of the State agency responsible for the administration of SNAP;
  2. Increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by low-income consumers participating in SNAP by providing incentives at the point of purchase;
  3. Operate through authorized SNAP retailers, and in compliance with all relevant SNAP regulations and operating requirements;
  4. Agree to participate in the FINI comprehensive program evaluation;
  5. Ensure that the same terms and conditions apply to purchases made by individuals with SNAP benefits and with incentives under the FINI grants program as apply to purchases made by individuals who are not members of households receiving benefits as provided in 7 C.F.R. 278.2(b); and
  6. Include effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption systems that may be replicated in other states and communities.

FINI projects present the opportunity to bring together stakeholders from the distinct parts of the food system and to foster understanding of how they might improve the nutrition and health status of participating households receiving incentives to purchase fruits and vegetables. FINI projects are also intended to address the development of effective and efficient technologies for benefit redemption that are replicable by others.

FINI for Grantees

FINI grantees should review this November 2018 notice. This notice encourages State and local SNAP agencies and FINI grantees to work together directly in order to promote FINI grant projects active in their areas. Distributing fliers or playing videos in the lobbies of local SNAP offices, as well as direct mailing campaigns, can be very cost-effective ways of informing SNAP recipients about FINI grant projects in their area. However, FINI grantees can only engage in such promotional activities with the support of State and local SNAP agencies. There are no Federal regulations or SNAP policies that prohibit these kinds of FINI grant project promotional activities.

 

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