TEFAP Infrastructure Grant

Last Modified: 12/03/2013

Frequently Asked Questions

1. If my organization provides services to both rural and urban areas, can I submit an application for the The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) General Infrastructure Grant and another application for the TEFAP Rural Infrastructure Grant?

2. The county we serve is very large, and parts of it have characteristics of a rural area.  According to the Census website, our county is listed as a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area and is not considered rural.  Is there any way that the portion of the county with rural characteristics can be considered rural?

3. We have been asked to certify the emergency feeding organizations (EFO) with which we have TEFAP agreements so that they can apply for the TEFAP Infrastructure Grants.  Where do we send the certification letter? 

4. Do we have to have final bids in place in order to apply for funding or can we use rough estimates and then show our planned bidding process? 

5. Can we include project expenses incurred prior to the date funding is received? 

6. Where can I find more information on what costs are allowable?

7. My organization only receives TEFAP foods and administrative funds for two of the five counties we serve.  Must the proposal focus on the counties we received TEFAP administrative funding/food for or can we apply for activities throughout our service area?

8. We are considering applying for a TEFAP Infrastructure Grant.  We had an estimate prepared for our project and the cost will be about $13,000.  The minimum amount for grant funding is $50,000.  Does this mean our project is not eligible for funding?

9. Can we request funds to build a new building?

10. Can we request funds for two or more different projects in the same proposal?

11. My organization is considering applying for a TEFAP Infrastructure grant to purchase a vehicle for my food bank.  Can the vehicle be used for non-TEFAP activities or must it only be used for TEFAP purposes?

12. If we receive a TEFAP Infrastructure Grant to recover fresh produce from local farmers, would we have to track the distributed produce or collect recipient signatures like we do for TEFAP foods?

13. In our county, the Food Bank receives the TEFAP foods and distributes them to local food pantries.  Is the Food Bank able to apply for projects for the food pantries or only for the Food Bank?

14. We currently have a truck to deliver TEFAP foods to our nine sites; however, the vehicle is in need of repair.  Can we request funding to repair the truck, rather than purchase a replacement vehicle?

15. We would like to request funds for several improvement projects in my food pantry.  Does the work need to be done by professionals or can we use volunteers?

16. We are planning to partner with another food pantry to apply for this grant.  My books are well-kept, but I’m not sure how well the other food pantry keeps its records.  If we’re awarded funding, will the other food pantry be held accountable for their own spending or would they have to account to us and then we would submit the reports?

17. If I submit my application via e-mail, how can I email the SF series forms except through www.grants.govIs there another way to transmit the completed SF series forms along with the rest of the application?

18. There are no reservations or federally recognized tribes in my food bank’s service area, but we do have members of a State recognized tribe.  What data or documentation would be required to document that this project serves Native Americans?

19. The facility my organization recently moved to has a kitchen and dining facility that needs renovations and upgrading before it can be used to serve meals to needy families.  Will these renovations be allowable? 

20. Can we hire a registered dietitian/health educator to teach our clients and patients proper eating habits?

21. We need to certify our emergency feeding organization for participation in TEFAP.  We have no way of signing the certification letter electronically.  Can we include an electronic unsigned letter on letterhead in our application package?  

22We are the food bank that serves the western part of our State and we are contracted with our State TEFAP agency to distribute TEFAP to food pantries and soup kitchens in the county.  If the pantries or soup kitchens that we serve TEFAP to would like to apply, must we certify these organizations for TEFAP participation?  If one or more of these food pantries or soup kitchens wants to apply for this grant, may we, the food bank, also apply for a TEFAP Infrastructure Grant separately?

23. Are there limitations to the number of EFOs that can apply from our service area?

24. Are Tribes eligible to apply for the TEFAP Grant Opportunity?

25. Are bids or estimates required with the RFA? If not, will they be required if an applicant is chosen for an award?

26. Are we permitted to include photos or any other supporting documentation in the application?

27. In my State, the Food Bank Association, Food Bank Council, or Hunger Coalition administers TEFAP.  Is this organization eligible to apply for the Infrastructure Grants?  

28. Is the TEFAP Infrastructure Grant subject to Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs?  This information is needed to complete the SF-424. 

ANSWERS

1. If my organization provides services to both rural and urban areas, can I submit an application for the The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) General Infrastructure Grant and another application for the TEFAP Rural Infrastructure Grant?
Yes, you may submit an application for both grants.  Each application must meet the requirements of the respective Request for Application (RFA) and must be submitted separately through the appropriate e-mail address (as listed in each RFA) or www.grants.gov solicitation.  

2.  The county we serve is very large, and parts of it have characteristics of a rural area.  According to the Census website, our county is listed as a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area and is not considered rural.  Is there any way that the portion of the county with rural characteristics can be considered rural?
Due to the size and scope of this RFA, we are not able to make exceptions to the definition of rural.  In order to be awarded funding under the TEFAP Rural Infrastructure Grant, the applicant must clearly demonstrate that 75 percent of the grant budget is dedicated to grant activities or projects outside of areas designated as Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and grant activities or projects predominately serve rural communities, as defined in the TEFAP Rural Infrastructure Grant RFA. 

3.  We have been asked to certify the emergency feeding organizations (EFO) with which we have TEFAP agreements so that they can apply for the TEFAP Infrastructure Grants.  Where do we send the certification letter? 
Each applicant is responsible for submitting a letter certifying its participation in TEFAP with its completed application package.  If you are an entity that is eligible to certify other EFOs, please submit the letter to the EFO that has requested it and they will submit it as part of their application package.

4. Do we have to have final bids in place in order to apply for funding or can we use rough estimates and then show our planned bidding process? 
Estimates, with a brief description of the planned bidding process, are acceptable.

5. Can we include project expenses incurred prior to the date funding is received? 
No.  Expenses that were incurred prior to the award date are not allowable. 

6. Where can I find more information on what costs are allowable?
In addition to the information provided in Appendix D of each RFA, more specific information about what costs are allowable, can be found at the Office of Management and Budget’s website,  http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/circulars_default/.  Click on the circular that is appropriate to the applicant.  Nonprofits:  A-122 State, Local, and Tribal Governments: A-87 Educational Institutions: A-21 Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals, and Other Non-Profit Organizations: A-110  General examples may be found in the Allowable Uses of Funding section of each RFA. 

7. My organization only receives TEFAP foods and administrative funds for two of the five counties we serve.  Must the proposal focus on the counties we received TEFAP administrative funding/food for or can we apply for activities throughout our service area? As long as the applicant meets the criteria listed in the RFA, the grant request may focus on any portion of an area served or to be served by the applicant without regard to TEFAP service areas. 

8. We are considering applying for a TEFAP Infrastructure Grant.  We had an estimate prepared for our project and the cost will be about $13,000.  The minimum amount for grant funding is $50,000.  Does this mean our project is not eligible for funding?
The minimum application amount is $50,000, so this project by itself wouldn’t be eligible; however, this applicant may be able to submit an application as part of a group of eligible emergency feeding organizations.  For more information on how to apply as a group of EFOs, please see the fourth paragraph of the “Who May Apply” section of the appropriate RFA.

9.  Can we request funds to build a new building?
For the purposes of this grant, we will not fund construction of a brand new building.  The repair or expansion of existing buildings may be considered for funding. 

10.  Can we request funds for two or more different projects in the same proposal?
Yes, while applicants may only submit one application per RFA, the application may include requests for more than one type of activity or project. 

11. My organization is considering applying for a TEFAP Infrastructure grant to purchase a vehicle for my food bank.  Can the vehicle be used for non-TEFAP activities or must it only be used for TEFAP purposes?
TEFAP Infrastructure grant funds may be used for direct and indirect expenses associated with both the distribution of TEFAP foods and of foods secured from other non-Federal sources.  Foods secured from non-Federal sources included, but is not limited to, private donations, eligible recipient agency food purchases using non-USDA funds, and USDA foods redonated to TEFAP from other Federal food assistance programs. TEFAP Infrastructure grant funds cannot be used for costs associated with the distribution of USDA foods from Federal food and nutrition assistance programs other than TEFAP.

12. If we receive a TEFAP Infrastructure Grant to recover fresh produce from local farmers, would we have to track the distributed produce or collect recipient signatures like we do for TEFAP foods? The foods recovered from local farmers would be considered foods donated from non-USDA sources.  Since they are not considered TEFAP foods, they are not subject to the same requirements as TEFAP foods.  Grant recipients will, however, be required to submit final narrative reports outlining the major accomplishments and project results and statistics or other information obtained from records of grant activities will likely be useful for this type of report.

13.  In our county, the Food Bank receives the TEFAP foods and distributes them to local food pantries.  Is the Food Bank able to apply for projects for the food pantries or only for the Food Bank?
The Food Bank may apply by itself for its own activities or it may apply as part of group of eligible EFOs (i.e., it may apply with the local food pantries).  In the case of a group application, one EFO must act as the lead EFO and would maintain fiscal and programmatic responsibility for the grant award, and would ensure that all the EFOs meet the eligibility requirements listed in the Request for Application (RFA).  If the Food Bank meets the requirements listed in the “Who May Apply” section of each RFA, it may act as the lead EFO.  Please see the fourth paragraph under the “Who May Apply” section in each RFA for more information on aggregating requests and applying as a group of EFOs.

14.  We currently have a truck to deliver TEFAP foods to our nine sites; however, the vehicle is in need of repair.  Can we request funding to repair the truck, rather than purchase a replacement vehicle?
Repair of a delivery truck could be considered an allowable use of grant funds; however, the costs must meet the description of an allowable expense, as listed in Appendix D of either RFA.  The applicant should also ensure that it meets all other requirements listed in the RFA, including the $50,000 minimum request, and, as described in Appendix B, Item #7c, a clear explanation as to why a truck repair is the most cost-effective alternative. 

15. We would like to request funds for several improvement projects in my food pantry.  Does the work need to be done by professionals or can we use volunteers?
The applicant should use discretion to ensure the safety and validity of their project.  There are many tasks that skilled or unskilled volunteers can do very well (e.g., packing food boxes, gleaning, painting), but applicants should use qualified professionals when safety and/or quality are concerns (e.g., electrical work, plumbing, etc.). 

16. We are planning to partner with another food pantry to apply for this grant.  My books are well-kept, but I’m not sure how well the other food pantry keeps its records.  If we’re awarded funding, will the other food pantry be held accountable for their own spending or would they have to account to us and then we would submit the reports?
When applying with other EFOs, one eligible organization must be chosen as the lead.  The lead organization would be fiscally and programmatically responsible for the grant activities and would be required to submit financial and final reports on behalf of the group.

17. If I submit my application via e-mail, how can I email the SF series forms except through www.grants.gov?  Is there another way to transmit the completed SF series forms along with the rest of the application? All required forms are available on the Infrastructure Grant website.  Unfortunately, we are not able to provide fillable forms as previously indicated in the RFA.  When applying via e-mail, forms must be printed out, completed by hand or typed, scanned in, and e-mailed with your application package to the appropriate address.  When applying through Grants.gov, the forms will be completed electronically through the Grant.gov application process.

18. There are no reservations or federally recognized tribes in my food bank’s service area, but we do have members of a State recognized tribe.  What data or documentation would be required to document that this project serves Native Americans?
In order for the grant to receive priority for serving Native Americans, the project must primarily benefit Native American communities.  The Food and Nutrition Service does not request any specific documentation to that fact, although the applicant must dedicate at least 75 percent of the project budget to activities in the Native American community.  In the Project Narrative section of the application package, the applicant may wish to provide additional supporting data or information about the populations that will be served by the project.  If the tribe will have a direct role or financial obligations, they should include a letter of support as described in the RFA

19. The facility my organization recently moved to has a kitchen and dining facility that needs renovations and upgrading before it can be used to serve meals to needy families.  Will these renovations be allowable? 
Yes, as long as the project meets the guidelines as described in the RFAs, the costs of these renovations could be considered allowable.

20. Can we hire a registered dietitian/health educator to teach our clients and patients proper eating habits?
Staff salaries can be an allowable expense; however, applicants must ensure that their application’s projects and activities meet the goal of improving the infrastructure of the emergency feeding network.  Since funds are not available after the end of the grant period, applicants should have plans as to how the position will be funded once the grant has been completed.

21. We need to certify our emergency feeding organization for participation in TEFAP.  We have no way of signing the certification letter electronically.  Can we include an electronic unsigned letter on letterhead in our application package?  
If you are not able to provide a signed copy of the certification letter electronically (i.e., a scanned copy or a copy with an electronic picture of the signatory’s signature), please indicate in your letter that the letter has been signed electronically and that an original signed copy may be obtained by fax by calling XXX-XXX-XXXX.

22. We are the food bank that serves the western part of our State and we are contracted with our State TEFAP agency to distribute TEFAP to food pantries and soup kitchens in the county.  If the pantries or soup kitchens that we serve TEFAP to would like to apply, must we certify these organizations for TEFAP participation?  If one or more of these food pantries or soup kitchens wants to apply for this grant, may we, the food bank, also apply for a TEFAP Infrastructure Grant separately?
Yes, EFOs that have agreements with other EFOs to distribute TEFAP foods must certify those EFOs for participation in TEFAP, as described in the RFA.  If the food pantries that a food bank distributes TEFAP foods to apply for a grant, the food bank may also apply separately.  Each individual EFO may submit one application for each RFA. 

23. Are there limitations to the number of EFOs that can apply from our service area?
No, there are no limitations to the number of EFOs that may apply from a given city, state, or service area.

24. Are Tribes eligible to apply for the TEFAP Grant Opportunity?Tribes may only apply directly if they are an EFO.  For example, a tribal operated food pantry which has a valid TEFAP agreement with the State or with another EFO, may apply for the grant.  Tribes not participating in TEFAP may partner with another EFO participating in TEFAP to apply for funds.

25. Are bids or estimates required with the RFA? If not, will they be required if an applicant is chosen for an award?
For this grant solicitation, we are only requesting estimates of projected costs.  Bids are not required with the applications.  Please remember that all costs must be reasonable, allowable and justifiable.  Applicants should clearly explain how costs and estimates were derived in their budget justification.  We may request additional information from the awardee to ensure the accuracy of requested funds.  Additional requirements will be provided to the awardee in the Terms and Conditions of this grant solicitation.   Further information on allowable costs is contained in Appendix B of 2 CFR 230.

26. Are we permitted to include photos or any other supporting documentation in the application?
Applicants may submit whatever supplemental items they wish; however, it must fit into the body of the application, and should not exceed the stated page length or deviate from the required formatting outlined in Appendix A and B.  

27. In my State, the Food Bank Association, Food Bank Council, or Hunger Coalition administers TEFAP.  Is this organization eligible to apply for the Infrastructure Grants?
In order to receive funding for a TEFAP Infrastructure Grant, the applicant must administer TEFAP and meet the definition of an EFO, as described in second paragraph of the “Who May Apply” section of the RFA.  To be considered an EFO, the organization must be involved in the provision of food, either directly to needy person or to other EFOs who provide food to needy person.  If the organization administers TEFAP but does not directly distribute foods as described above, it is not eligible to apply for this funding.      

28. Is the TEFAP Infrastructure Grant subject to Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs?  This information is needed to complete the SF-424. 
TEFAP Infrastructure Grants may be subject to review under Executive Order 12372, Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs; however, it is a State level decision.  To find out more about E.O. 12372 and to find out if your State participates, please visit this link:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/.