Request for Funding for Facility Improvements & Equipment Upgrades to Prevent, Prepare for and Respond to Coronavirus Challenges
On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (P.L. 116-136, CARES Act). The CARES Act provides $100,000,000 to the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR) as authorized by Section 4(b) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2013) and Section 4(a) of the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 (7 U.S.C. 1431) to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, of which $50,000,000 shall be for facility improvements and equipment upgrades. The remaining $50,000,000 will be addressed in separate guidance.
Consistent with the CARES Act, the Department will be allocating the $50 million for facility improvements and equipment upgrades to Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) and State agencies (SAs) that administer FDPIR for program costs allowable under the law. Only costs that are necessary and reasonable, allowable under FDPIR, and meet the criteria of the CARES Act to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus can be funded.
Examples of allowable costs could include a facility improvement to accommodate distribution methods for social distancing such as drive-up distributions; a sheltered outdoor space that allows for sufficient separation between clients arriving to pick-up food packages at a warehouse; warehouse expansions to accommodate coronavirus related participation increases; and/or physical barriers or additional sinks and sanitation stations to assist in worker safety. Another example could include the purchase of equipment to support coronavirus-related participation increases, such as computer software or hardware upgrades to accommodate increased remote work or increased caseload; and additional freezers and/or refrigerators. For purposes of these funds, equipment could also include the purchase of supplies such as boxes for food packaging that are needed due to coronavirus-related increases in participation or personal protective equipment (PPE) such as masks and gloves or cleaning supplies. These examples are not meant to be exhaustive, and other items will be approved, provided they are designed to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, as outlined in the CARES Act
Unallowable costs include funding for increased staffing as this is not considered to be a facility improvement or equipment upgrade. Other unallowable costs include costs associated with normal day-to-day operations that are not related to coronavirus prevention, preparation, and/or response.
How to Request Funding
In order to receive funding, ITOs and SAs must submit a list of the facility improvements and equipment upgrades that they are requesting to be funded to their respective FNS regional office by May 15, 2020, using the attached template, Request for Funding to Prevent, Prepare For, and Respond to Coronavirus (Attachment A).
FNS regional office staff will review all submissions and verify each expense is allowable and necessary and meets the criteria in the CARES Act. FNS regional office staff will provide to FNS national office the following by May 20, 2020:
- Total regional coronavirus funding request including only allowable and necessary expenses;
- List of individual ITO/SA total funding request amounts of allowable and necessary expenses only;
- A copy of each ITO’s/SA’s Facility and Equipment Request Template (Attachment A).
FNS national office staff will review each request and confirm total regional allocations for disbursement by May 25, 2020. Upon funding approval, each ITO/SA will work with their FNS regional office staff to submit a signed FNS-529, Grant/Cooperative Agreement, and will receive further instructions for receipt of funds. The period of performance for this funding allocation will be from date of approval through September 30, 2023.
State Agency Matching Requirement
This funding allocation requires the ITO or SA to provide 20 percent of the total administrative costs in matching funds as provided under 7 CFR 253.11(c). A waiver request to reduce the matching requirement below 20 percent may be submitted to your FNS regional contact via e-mail. ITOs/SAs that have an approved administrative match waiver request for FY 2020 may request to apply their approved waiver for this funding allocation.
The ITO or SA will be required to submit a Federal Financial Report (SF-425) via the Food Programs Reporting System (FPRS). FNS is in the process of creating a new “program” in FPRS for reporting the FDPIR financial information from the CARES Act. Grantees should report under the name “PAN–FDPIR-CARES Act-FDPIR Facility Improvement and Equipment Grants”. These reports must be submitted within 30 days after the close of each quarter. The Final Financial Report must be submitted within 90 days of the expiration of the grant agreement.
ITOs and SAs with questions should contact their FNS regional offices, which may in turn contact the FNS national office at (703) 305-2465.
Food Distribution Division
The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.