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Incentive Award Programs Fact Sheet

Overview and Purpose: 

The Incentive Award Programs were created to increase nutrition education and physical activity promotion to Food Stamp recipients and other low-income Californians. Public and nonprofit agencies that are currently providing qualifying activities to the Network audience are encouraged to participate in the Local Incentive Award (LIA) or Nonprofit Incentive Award (NIA) Programs. 

How the Incentive Program Works:

If an agency is a public or nonprofit agency and is currently using non-federal funds to provide nutrition education and physical activity promotion programs to the Network audience, the Network will provide up to 50 percent of the agencies existing budget or State Share to be used for new or additional qualifying activities also known as Federal Share.  These Federal Share activities must be in addition to the agencies existing activities. State Share contributions qualify for federal financial participation [FFP] dollars from USDA’s Food Stamp Program.


If your organization is funding a position to conduct nutrition and  physical activity promotion and spends $100.000 per year as State Share, they would receive an incentive award of up to $50,000 of Federal Share to increase or expand the allowable activities.

The Incentive Award Program requires that an agencies existing nutrition education program (State Share) is paid for with non-federal public sources (i.e., state or local public funds) or private cash donations and will not be used to match other federal programs during the term of the contract.  (Exception:  Indian Tribal organizations may use federal funds designated for general nutrition education as an allowable local source of dollars directed toward nutrition/physical activity promotion.) In addition, none of your organizations activities funded through Federal or State FSNE budget shares supplant existing nutrition education or physical activity efforts. 

FSNE Plan:

The Network secures the Federal Share dollars by submitting an annual California Food Stamp Nutrition Education (FSNE) Plan to the USDA for funding the Network for a Healthy California (Network) activities.  The Plan is submitted to California Department of Social Services (CDSS) in July to secure funding by October 1. Each year, CPNS has an interagency agreement with the CDSS, the Food Stamp Program administrator for California. 


The program goals of the Network for low-income Californians are to increase: (1) daily consumption of fruits and vegetables to recommendations found in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, (2) daily physical activity to a minimum of 30 minutes for adults and 60 minutes for children, and (3) food security, including participation in Federal nutrition assistance programs, especially Food Stamps.  More recently, USDA has asked all programs to also work together toward preventing obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases. 


The Network is currently 100% federal funding through USDA.  For Federal Fiscal Year 2008 the total budget from the FSNE plan is $105 million to fund nutrition education services and $1.6 million to fund Food Stamp Outreach services.  CPNS is required to track both State and Federal Share budgets.

The annual Funding Application Packet (FAP) solicitation is the mechanism CPNS uses to secure the necessary documentation from public and nonprofit agencies to create the FSNE Plan and secure funding from USDA. 

Funding Application Timeline:

  • February 4 Funding Application Packet (FAP) notice sent to Network Contractors
  • February 27 (2pm – 4pm) - February 28 (9am – 11am) Teleconference Call with Network contractors to discuss the FAP
  • February 15 Deadline for continuing contractors (contracts with existing agreements in place for FFY 2009)
  • April 3 Deadline for renewing contracts (Contracts ending 9/30/08 – All FAP Forms due
  • April - June 1 Contract negotiations
  • June 15 Finalize negotiations and contract documents
  • August 15 Contract submission deadline
  • Network Audience:

    USDA requires that the Network’s Incentive Award funds be targeted only to food-stamp eligible populations and, with formal waiver approval, other low-income Californians who are at or below 185 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), within approved census tract locations and community sites.  As a result, the Network program and services cannot reach 56 percent of California’s Food Stamp participants and the 63 percent of persons with incomes below 185 percent of FPL who live outside the eligible census tracts.

    Incentive Awardees:

    The 92 local incentive awards (LIA) and nonprofit incentive award (NIA) contractors provide the funding and in-kind to make up the State Share portion of the total FSNE budget.  Each contract has a specific scope of work to target food-stamp nutrition education eligible families with children to improve their knowledge and behaviors toward healthy eating and physical activity patterns in a variety of community settings. 

    The community settings include:

  • 37 low resource school districts (~$25.6 million)
  • 26 local health departments (~$12.9 million)
  • 10 county offices of education (~$11.2 million)
  • 6 public colleges and universities (~$ 3.9 million)
  • 4 Indian tribal organizations (~$577,000)
  • 2 cities (~$111,000)
  • 2 cooperative extension agencies (~$859,000)
  • 2 park and recreation departments (~$128,000)
  • 3 nonprofit organizations (~$1.5 million)
    Last modified on: 2/9/2009 11:14 AM