We operate both a small local food retail store and a farmers’ market. Can we apply for funding to purchase a new Point of Sale (POS) system with scanner, training, and equipment and amenities for the farmers’ market?
No, the GFAP Technical Assistance grant is intended for technical assistance providers who work with eligible retailers. Another round of the GFAP Equipment/Physical Improvement Grant will be available later this spring; some of these needs may be eligible under that program.
We have several farmers’ markets in the city that are looking to coordinate efforts to improve EBT access and promotion for all markets (which all are located in eligible census tracts). Would funding for coordinating efforts (market managers' time, promotional material, etc) be eligible?
GFAP Technical Assistance funds are intended to support the costs of the technical assistance provider for offering training, resources, etc. as opposed to the costs borne by individual retailers (in this case the farmers’ markets) for implementing what they have learned. Grant funding would be a better fit for the costs of providing the technical assistance.
Our local food co-op and our local community health clinic are seeking funding to start a produce prescription program. The aim will be to encourage patients to shop at the co-op (and purchase fresh produce) rather than primarily getting their food from a local convenience store. The majority of the funding would cover the cost of the food prescription program. Would this project be eligible?
Grant funding is intended to train food retailers on how to better market to the targeted consumers (and a number of other business-related objectives), rather than directly trying to influence the purchasing habits of the consumer. The purchase of food would not be an eligible expense for this grant program.
Grantees are requested to to capture data on overall sales of "...affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate" foods. These are terms of value for public policy, but they are not terms of commerce, and no Point-of-Sale scanning system captures such data. (Data is categorized by major department, such as Grocery, Produce, Deli, etc., and by individual stockkeeping units, or sku's, for each product...but no distinction in commercial data is made for answering questions like "Is this item "affordable" or "culturally appropriate" for a given community).
How does MDA define these terms, and how do you envision this data can be captured?
Grantees (and the retailers they serve) will be responsible for reporting on the measures on page 6 of the RFP. We recognize that retailers are not specifically tracking sales of “affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods.” We are still creating the evaluation tool, but we anticipate that the tool will include more broad categories such as “fresh produce,” “grains/flour”, and “meat/poultry”. If you have suggestions on efficiently measuring data, we’re open to hearing them.
As a condition of accepting the grant, grantees are expected to gather and report data for a period of five years after the execution of the grant agreement. (Grantees are only guaranteed funding for about one year, though this may be extended to three years at the discretion of the MDA). Are grantees permitted to encumber funds prior to the end the project to cover grant reporting costs required for the years following the end of the program?
Unfortunately, we cannot offer funding to cover the full five years of reporting requirements. The MDA reimburses grantees for expenses that have been paid, so we cannot pay off of an encumbrance or purchase order.
Additional questions will be posted as they are received.
Ashley Bress, Program Administrator