Letter of Intent to Apply Date: May 1, 2014 no later than 11:59 PM (EDT)
Application Submission Date: July 7, 2014, no later than 11:59 PM (EDT)
Award Date: October 2014
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010, under Section 141, added a new Section 23 on Childhood Hunger Research to the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. This section provides substantial new mandatory funding to research the causes and consequences of childhood hunger and to test innovative strategies to end child hunger and food insecurity. The authorizing program legislation and relevant section for this Request for Application (RFA) is: Childhood Hunger Research Demonstration Projects to End Childhood Hunger (42 U.S.C. 1769d).
The HHFKA provided $40 million to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to conduct and evaluate the demonstration projects. The funding was authorized as of October 1, 2012 and will remain available until September 30, 2017. USDA will commission and oversee a rigorous independent evaluation of each demonstration project.
The purpose of the demonstration projects is to test innovative strategies to end childhood hunger, including alternative models for service delivery and benefit levels that promote the reduction or elimination of childhood hunger and food insecurity. Projects may include enhanced SNAP benefits for eligible households with children; enhanced benefits or innovative program delivery models in school meals, afterschool snacks programs, and the Child and Adult Care Food Program; and other targeted Federal, State or local assistance, including refundable tax credits, emergency housing, employment and training, or family preservation services, for households with children who are experiencing food insecurity.
USDA is interested in targeting areas or populations where there are currently elevated levels of food insecurity or gaps in nutrition assistance program coverage. HHFKA requires that at least one demonstration project be carried out on an Indian reservation in a rural area with a service population having a prevalence of diabetes that exceeds 15 percent. The primary outcome measure for the evaluation will be the change in the prevalence of food insecurity among children as measured by the USDA food security measure. Other site-specific outcomes related to particular interventions may be considered for the evaluation, but will be secondary to food insecurity among children.
Approximately $30 million will be awarded for up to five demonstration projects in the form of cooperative agreements between USDA-FNS and grantees. The remaining funds will be used for independent evaluations of each project. Depending on the nature of the proposals submitted, up to five (5) applicants may be awarded grants, with no single project exceeding $10,000,000. Applicants that commit matching resources, including in-kind resources, to the project will receive competitive priority. The cooperative agreements will provide for an implementation phase of up to 12 months and the demonstration projects will operate for at least 12 months, but no more than 24 months.
Competition for the cooperative agreements is open to the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories or Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) that administer Federal nutrition assistance programs.