Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Open (Posted) Date
Closed Date
Funding Opportunity #

FY 2018 Direct Certification Improvement Grant


Please note that FNS has suspended the review of applications under this RFA due to limited availability of remaining funds. FNS will again accept applications under this RFA should funds be returned by grantees administering awards under previous Direct Certification Improvement Grant RFAs. Interested applicants should periodically check the School Meals Grants Opportunities website for the status of this RFA.

Request for Applications

FNS invites state agencies that administer NSLP and SBP to apply for a Direct Certification Improvement Grant to fund the costs of improving their direct certification rates with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and other assistance programs, as allowed under Federal statute and regulations. Under this RFA, approximately $2 million is available for grants to NSLP state agencies to fund direct certification improvement projects. The number of grants awarded is dependent upon the number and types of applicants, and any further availability of funds returned by previous grantees under previous Direct Certification Improvement Grant RFAs.

Two types of Direct Certification Improvement Grants are available:

  1. Tier 1 Grants: up to $250,000 for limited-scope planning and implementation projects, and
  2. Tier 2 Grants: up to $1,000,000 for full-scope implementation projects.
Critical Dates
Aug. 15, 2017 RFA Release Date
Nov. 15, 2017 Application Submission Deadline
Feb. 15, 2018 Application Submission Deadline
May 15, 2018 Application Submission Deadline
Aug. 15, 2018 Application Submission Deadline
Nov. 15, 2018 Application Submission Deadline
Feb. 15, 2019 Application Submission Deadline


Who May Apply

This RFA is extended to all state NSLP agencies. However, please note the following items associated with the FY 2018 RFA:

  1. All NSLP state agencies are eligible to apply for Tier 1 Direct Certification Improvement Grants, even if they were awarded grant(s) under previous direct certification grant RFAs. However, applications must clearly demonstrate the state’s need for grant funds to enable it to reach and maintain SNAP direct certification rates at the 95 percent level.
  2. All NSLP state agencies are eligible to apply for Tier 2 Direct Certification Improvement Grants. State agencies applying for a second Tier 2 award or who have direct certification rates with SNAP that are already at 95 percent or higher, as reported in the latest Direct Certification Report to Congress, must present a compelling case in their application proposals as to why additional funds are necessary for improvements in their direct certification system or processes for them to reach and/or maintain rates at or above the mandated 95 percent benchmark.
  3. FNS will accept only one grant application from any state agency under this RFA. However, if funds remain available at the end of the RFA period (ending Feb. 15, 2019), FNS reserves the right to extend the RFA and reconsider this application restriction at that time.
Application Due Date

Under the FY 2018 RFA, states will have six opportunities to apply for Tier 1 or Tier 2 grants beginning Nov. 15, 2017 and ending Feb. 15, 2015 (pending availability of funds). The complete application must be uploaded on by 11:59 PM, Eastern Time of the scheduled on the scheduled RFA due date. Applications received after the deadline date will be held until the following review period. FNS will not consider any additions or revisions to an application once it is received. FNS will not accept mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered applications.

Reference Documents
Page updated: April 06, 2023