Professional Standards for School Nutrition Employees

 

The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA) of 2010, Section 306, directed the United States Department of Agriculture to establish minimum national professional standards for all school nutrition employees who manage and operate the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs. These new standards will ensure that school nutrition personnel have the training and tools they need to plan, purchase and prepare safe, nutritious and enjoyable school meals. The rule institutes minimum hiring standards for the selection of State and local school nutrition program directors; and requires all personnel in these programs to complete annual continuing education/training. The standards are effective July 1, 2015. The principal benefit of this rule is to ensure that key school nutrition personnel are meeting minimum professional standards in order to adequately perform the duties and responsibilities of their positions.

The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to:
•Provide awards, on a competitive basis, to State agencies administering National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP), to develop and implement trainings to support the Professional Standards rule,
•Describe which entities are eligible to apply for grant funds,
•Describe the requirements for submitting a successful application, and
•Describe how applications will be reviewed and selected.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
10.547
Federal Agency/Office
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Office: Food and Nutrition Service
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
Project Grants
Program Accomplishments
Fiscal Year 2014: In the process of making award decisions. Fiscal Year 2015: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2016: No Current Data Available
Authorization
Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, Executive Order Section 306 of the Healthy, Hunger-
Free Kids Act of 2010, Public Law 111–
296 (HHFKA) amended section 7 of the
Child Nutrition Act of 1966 (CNA) (42
U.S.C. 1776) by adding paragraph (g),
‘‘Professional Standards for School Food
Service.’’ This rule proposes to amend
7 CFR part 210, the regulations
governing the National School Lunch
Program, and 7 CFR part 235, the
regulations governing State
Administrative Expense Funds,
consistent with amendments made to
the CNA by the HHFKA., Title 7 CFR, Part 210, Section 235, Public Law 222-111, 42 U.S.C 1776.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
The State agency applies for and signs an agreement to receive Federal fund for disbursement. The State agency enters into an agreement with each sponsor that has been approved for participation.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Agreements are between USDA-FNS and State agencies.
Credentials/Documentation
Selection criteria are clearly defined in application. Proposals must describe the qualifications of Project Director and other key staff. Resumes must be provided which demonstrate that staff have the appropriate educational, technical and experiential backgrounds for their proposed roles. A position description must be included for Project Directors and key staff to be hired after the grant is awarded. 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles applies to this program.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Letter of intent is optional for this RFA but is highly recommended. It is due February 20, 2015. An environmental impact assessment is required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB circular No A-110 applies to this program.
Award Procedure
When an application is approved, the sponsor signs an agreement with the administering agency. States were selected for Professional Standards Grant based on a formal grants selection process.
Deadlines
Apr 20, 2015 to Jan 20, 2016: Rolling submissions. Letters of intent are due February 20, 2015. Applications must be received by Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) by the four deadline dates of April 20, 2015; July 20, 2015, October 20, 2015, and January 20, 2016.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
From 60 to 90 days. From 30 to 60 days.
Appeals
From 30 to 60 days. Not applicable for renewal.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
How are proposals selected?
1. Soundness or Merit of Project Design
a. Proposal provides justification of the project(s) and activities being proposed.
b. Proposal has objectives and goals that are appropriate to target audiences, are measurable, realistic, attainable, and address one or more focus areas (objectives – see page 6) requested in the 2015 Professional Standards Grants Request for Application (RFA).
c. Proposal describes State agency’s use of USDA or NFSMI-developed materials, and adequate justifications are made if a portion of the grant funds will be used to develop or purchase needed materials.
d. Proposal adequately describes the tasks and activities with realistic timelines.
e. Proposal includes a chronological timeline, not to exceed two pages.
f. Proposal is written concisely, succinctly, and demonstrates a comprehensive planning process.
g. Proposal includes a plan for sustainability after the grant period has ended.

2. Grant Impact Assessment
a.Proposal adequately describes how the State agency will assess the effectiveness and usefulness of training approaches, programs, and proposed activities to meet Professional Standards requirements in Section 306 of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.
b. Proposal describes how the State agency will document the number of individuals the State plans to train at three levels: Manager, Director, and other staff, as well as best practices and lessons learned as result of the grant activities.

3. Qualification of Project Personnel, Project Management, and Organizational Experiences
a.Project Director (PD) is clearly identified. Time commitment for the grant is clearly stated as a percentage of a full time equivalent (FTE).
b.Proposal describes the qualifications of PD and other key personnel. Resumes must be provided which demonstrate that they have the appropriate educational, technical, and experiential backgrounds for their proposed roles. A position description must be included for PD and/or key staff to be hired after the grant is awarded. The Project Director, or one of the Project Co-Directors, should have a four-year degree in nutrition/dietetics, public health, health education, or other related field.
c. The contractor must be a subject matter expert with prior experience conducting training sessions for school food service personnel. Documentation should be provided to substantiate the training.
d. Proposal describes the organization’s credibility and capabilities to administer the grant.
e. The organization of the project allows sufficient time for proposed tasks, and clearly discusses and demonstrates that effective communication will exist among staff.
f. Proposal describes State agency’s commitment to provide financial and administrative oversight for the grant.
g. Letters of commitment are provided by project director, project director’s supervisor, and/or key staff.

4. Budget Appropriateness and Efficiency
a. Budget narrative describes how funds will be spent, by whom and for which categories.
b. Budget detail sufficiently itemizes costs within each budget category.
c. Budget demonstrates consistency with project objectives and specific activities/tasks planned. Budget line items are linked to specific grant objectives.
d. The level of funding requested is economical and reasonable in relation to the proposed scope and effort of the project.
How may assistance be used?
Up to $4.0 million is anticipated in Fiscal Year 2015 for Professional Standards Grants. Through a competitive grants process, Professional Standards Grants will be funded for the period September 2015-September 2017. Up to $150,000 may be requested per State agency. The submission of an application does NOT guarantee funding.

Funding for approved Professional Standards Grants will be provided through the Grant Award/Letter of Credit process, in the same manner as other Federal funds, upon receipt of a properly executed Federal-State Professional Standards Grant Agreement and subject to availability of funding. All Professional Standards Grant funds must be obligated and all activities under the Professional Standards Grant must be completed by August 2017. All State agencies are eligible to apply for the grant.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Reporting
The quarterly and final programmatic and financial reports are required to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with the grant terms and conditions. No cash reports are required. Quarterly progress reports are required. Quarterly budget reports are required. The grantee will work closely with the Agency on performance progress. Cash reports are not applicable. The quarterly and final programmatic and financial reports are required to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with the grant terms and conditions. No cash reports are required. Quarterly progress reports are required. Quarterly budget reports are required. The grantee will work closely with the Agency on performance progress. The quarterly and final programmatic and financial reports are required to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with the grant terms and conditions. No cash reports are required. Quarterly progress reports are required. Quarterly budget reports are required. The grantee will work closely with the Agency on performance progress. The quarterly and final programmatic and financial reports are required to be submitted by the grantee in accordance with the grant terms and conditions. No cash reports are required. Quarterly progress reports are required. Quarterly budget reports are required. The grantee will work closely with the Agency on performance progress.
Auditing
Not Applicable.
Records
Financial records, spporting documents, and all records pertinent to the grant program shall be retained for a period of 3 years.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program. This program has no matching requirements.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
August 1, 2015- July 31, 2017. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
See Regional Agency Offices. See the Food and Nutrition Service Regional Offices listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
Amy Frady 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302 Email: amy.frady@fns.usda.gov Phone: 7033052474
Website Address
http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/child-nutrition-programs
Financial Information
Account Identification
12-3539-0-1-605.
Obligations
(Training) FY 14 $0; FY 15 est $4,000,000; and FY 16 Estimate Not Available - This is two year money starting in FY 2015.
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Each State can apply for up to 150,000 for this grant.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Program regulations are codified at 7 CFR parts 210 and 235
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.

 



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