Who should attend the conversation? Should we add more staff members?
Please refer to the RFP Conversation Overview PDF emailed on April 25, 2023 for guidance on who should attend. A limit on the number of people participating in the conversation is to ensure that everyone is able to actively participate in the time-limited conversation time. Consider the conversation prompts when thinking about who you want to participate; who is best suited to address the outlined questions?
Should we be prepared to share what has been said in the written proposal?
Conversations are an opportunity to reframe your narrative to highlight lived experiences through a storytelling frame. You can refer to the written examples quickly and take the opportunity to expand by providing additional details and nuance. Storytelling allows you to share learnings, how changes were made, the relationships built, and programmatic adaptations. Shift the narrative from ‘what’ to the ‘how’ and ‘why.’
How familiar are the conversation external reviewers with our organization?
The external reviewers who participate in the conversation have also read your written proposal. Based on that experience, they have a high-level understanding of your organization, such as: number of years with SNAP-Ed, typical populations you serve, and general program approach.
We work with multiple communities, who needs to attend?
Consider the conversation prompts when thinking about who you want to participate. You may invite a maximum of two community members/partners. Think about the diversity of community members who interact with your programming. Please ask them to speak about their experiences and uplift their voices in the conversation.
How long is the conversation? How much time per topic?
The conversation is 50 minutes and, on average, 8 minutes per topic.
Should everyone on the conversation team respond to each question?
Plan out your approach with your conversation team ahead of time and be mindful of the approximate time we have for each question. There is no requirement that every conversation team member answers each question.
What other ways can we demonstrate community voice?
Organizations must have at least one community representative actively participate in the conversation. You may also include a second community representative.
If you want to further lift up community voice, you can have a short video or collection of photos, etc., maximum of 2 minutes, where community members share their experiences aligned with the conversation question themes.
If I include a community member video, what should I have them highlight in the two minutes?
Take a look at the conversation questions and prompts and where the community voice can help build out a fuller perspective. You might include how community members have been integrated into the programming cycle or impact of programming on the community.
Can we bring a third staff member to the conversation? If we get funded, the additional program staff will be the new program lead.
Yes, it makes sense to include a proposed new program lead in the conversation. Keep in mind the time constraint and keeping the number of people limited so that all conversation participants can actively engage.
Since we are at this point in the process, has MFF determined that we are qualified to be a subrecipient?
The review of your written application materials and the conversation component will determine if your organization fully meets the subrecipient eligibility criteria to be funded as a subrecipient grantee in FY24.
On the Conversation Overview PDF, what does ‘concurrently in the chat’ mean?
At the start of the conversation, we might offer participants a chance to respond to a question in the chat while everyone is introducing themselves.
Is it okay if our community representative is only knowledgeable about one aspect of our SNAP-Ed program (just PSE or just DE)?
Week of 4/10 – 4/14
Are we allowed to report our PSE work at brick-and-mortar pantries and our PSE work at mobile pantries under the same strategy, PSE strategies at food pantries?
Yes, reporting both under PSE strategies at food pantries is okay. If awarded funding, site eligibility and how PSE work will be approached at the two settings will be reviewed.
When selecting sectors represented in a multisector partnership/coalition, how would you distinguish between “childcare” vs. early childhood education programs?
When reporting your sectors represented in a multisector partnership/coalition, childcare and early childhood education programs would be reported as the same sector, childcare.
Week of 4/3 – 4/7
Can we include local data maps in our response to question #1 in the Program Narrative?
Yes, as long as the local data maps align with and illustrate the narrative provided.
In the Anticipated Programming Form, would “sites” be defined as the number of schools or the number of individual classrooms?
Define the number of sites at the school level. For example, if you propose to deliver programming at 20 schools, you would report 20 sites.
In the Anticipated Programming Form, how do we report direct education settings that we plan to implement virtually?
For any planned direct education series where you anticipate participants will be attending virtually, from their homes, provide the estimated number of individuals as the number of sites for individual homes. For example, if you estimate you will have 15 participants attend a Fresh Conversation series virtually, you would report 15 as the planned number of sites for individual homes.
When we are finished with the Anticipated Programming Form, can we print it?
You have to submit the Anticipated Programming Form to be able to view your full submission in one document. Once you submit, you will receive an email confirmation with your full submission in the body of the email. The email confirmation will also include a hyperlink to a URL containing the contents of what was submitted.
My 500 word program description is more characters than the Anticipated Programming Form will accept, how should I proceed?
If you find your program description has more characters than the Anticipated Programming Form allows, you should follow the steps below:
- In the Anticipated Programming Form program description text box type ‘Submitting via the secondary link.’
- Copy and paste your 500 word program description into this secondary submission link: https://mff.iad1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_etwYMJIIC5ADv7M.
Week of 3/27 – 3/31
How should we approach including a new PSE strategy in the narrative and anticipated programming form if we need more time to gather community feedback to inform the final direction?
We are planning to include a new PSE strategy in our proposal, but need to spend more time gathering community feedback to determine which one would be the best fit. How should this be written into our narrative and anticipated programming form?
PSE strategies are collaborative initiatives that address community needs to create conditions where the healthy choice becomes the easy and preferred choice where people live, learn, work, shop, and play (e.g., PSE strategies at food pantries, PSE strategies for parks and open spaces, etc.). These strategies should be determined through assessment and community engagement. You should select the strategy that is closest to what/where you will be programming.
If you have the PSE strategy selected, but aren’t certain of the specific PSE tool/assessment/approach that will support the it, that is okay. You can select ‘Community PSE Exploration’ from the Anticipated Programming Form’s primary assessment(s) or tool(s) list to indicate that community exploration will be used to identify the PSE tool/assessment/approach that will support the selected PSE strategy.
When completing the proposed FY 2024 budget, how should we hold space for open positions?
If a position is open, enter “TBD” along with the position title in the ‘Name’ column (e.g., TBD-Nutrition Educator).
In the Anticipated Programming Form (Qualtrics), can we submit formatted text including bullets and/or numbered lists?
Yes, if you copy and paste text into the Anticipated Programming Form it will keep formatting the same (bullets, number lists, etc.).
Week of 3/20 – 3/24
Are there opportunities to connect with other program leads to learn more about how they implement a specific intervention in Michigan? For example, to connect with program leads who implement Teen Battle Chef.
The Map to Healthy Living search functions allow anyone to search for programming by organization, region, or intervention. To begin your search:
- Select: 1 What to Look For, on the right of the screen
- Select: Snap-Ed Programs
- Select the search category you’d like to explore. For a specific intervention you would select Intervention, then select the intervention you are interested in.
- Select: 3 Go
The map will then generate a list of all the locations using that intervention. Program lead contact information is listed there.
Should we include nutrition educators in our Current and Pending documentation?
At minimum, include key SNAP-Ed staff: Local Program Lead, PSE Lead, and Finance Lead in your organization. If your proposed program includes a Lead Nutrition educator, they should be included as well.
What is the recommended staffing distribution? For example, is there a suggested or ratio of leads and administrative staff to nutrition educators?
Staffing should be aligned with the programming proposed and be reasonable and necessary.
RFP Information Session 3/15
After submitting the Letter of Intent (LOI), how long does it take for MFF to respond?
The LOIs are accepted on a rolling basis until the deadline on Monday, March 20 at 4:30 p.m. EST. Feedback will be provided within three (3) working days of your LOI submission.
In the Letter of Intent (LOI), how in depth should we talk about the communities we propose to work with?
The LOI should provide a snapshot of anticipated programming, including high level information about the communities you will serve.
Do we submit one LOI with the responses to the prompts and another LOI with the signed acknowledgement on organizational letterhead?
All LOI components from the provided template must be on your organization letterhead. You will submit one file for the LOI.
Can we think of this new form [Anticipated Programming Form] like the program summary narrative?
Much of the information captured in the Anticipated Programming Form aligns with content included in a program summary, which is developed after notification of provisional funding and is included with your contract.
Is there a save option on the Anticipated Programming Form (Qualtrics form)?
There is no save button; however, the form will ‘remember’ your progress as long as you use the same computer browser and do not clear your cookies. You do not have to keep the browser open.
In the Anticipated Programming Form, should we select only new PSE strategies? Or should we include PSE strategies we are already working on, including long-term strategies?
You want to include all of your PSE strategies.
In the Anticipated Programming Form, how should we select PSE assessments/tools/approaches? Should we select new PSE assessments/tools/approaches, or should we include PSE assessments/tools/approaches we have previously used and will reference in FY 2024?
Include any assessments/tools/approaches you plan to newly complete as well as existing assessments/tools/approaches you will reference for information.
What do we include as core direct education (DE) interventions [in the Anticipated Programming Form]? Do we include DE interventions that are only offered for a limited number of series or to a specific population?
Include all core direct education interventions regardless of whether they are offered on a limited basis (e.g., small number of series or only to a specific population).
Question 4 of the Program Narrative asks about how we address equity specifically related to SNAP-Ed staff compensation, how much detail should we provide in the response?
In your response, lift up any policies/procedures your organization has about equitable pay.
What costs should we anticipate for SNAP-Ed University (SNAP-Ed U) this year?
SNAP-Ed U is the annual compliance training that typically does not have a registration cost. You should build in travel costs for SNAP-Ed U into your proposed budget. Hotel rooms are master billed to Michigan Fitness Foundation with no cost to you.
What are the dates for SNAP-Ed University?
Typically, the third (3rd) or fourth (4th) week in August. Official dates will be communicated soon.
Is there a cost for Rec-Connect™? Are we still able to share with our community partners to sustain the program?
Yes, the cost is $150 per person delivering lessons. There will be additional guidance on print permissions, etc.
How much should we budget for Choices in our FY 2024 proposed budget?
There is guidance in the budget instructions related to Choices and what costs to plan for.
Is there additional guidance for how to develop our budget for increasing PSE work?
Build your budget to align with the programming you are proposing. This includes staff time and effort, supplies, etc. You should also consider efficiency with administrative costs.
Is it required to provide both direct education (DE) and PSE change work at every site we work with?
No. DE and PSE should work in tandem, but you do not need to have both approaches at all the same sites. For example, if you are providing DE in a school, you can advance PSE in places where families access food.
Is there an ideal ratio for the amount of direct education (DE) and PSE our proposed program covers? As our program plans ahead, we plan to increase our PSE work.
The program you are proposing needs to align with community need. The split between DE and PSE (you should be doing both) should reflect the programming selected to address community needs.
Can the 2022 County Health Ranking file be shared with our community partners?
Yes, this is publicly available data that MFF packaged for specific use for the RFP process.
For the conversation, can we bring the same community partner who participated last year?
When you get the questions, have a conversation about who makes the most sense to be a part of your community team.
Should the community member I bring to the conversation be related to my SNAP-Ed direct education (DE) work or PSE work?
There is not a specific type of community partner that needs to participate in the conversation. Questions will be provided in advance. When you get the questions, have a conversation about who makes the most sense to be a part of your community conversation team.
How will the conversations be scheduled?
We block certain days and time windows and offer you and your community teams options.
Week of 3/2 – 3/10
Can we assume schools eligible in FY 2023 will be eligible for FY 2024? We want to expand our direct education schools in FY 2024 to include schools that became eligible during FY 2023.
For proposal purposes, include sites that are currently eligible and that you want to deliver programming in FY 2024. If funded, all sites will need to be confirmed as eligible before programming begins.
We are funded in FY 2023 as a Community Impact Project and plan to apply to continue as a Community Impact Project in FY 2024, which funding opportunity should we proceed with?
See the response below under General Questions, “My organization is currently funded by SNAP-Ed at MFF in FY23. Which funding option (to be a subrecipient or a community impact project in FY24) should I consider?”
[In the Letter of Intent template, it states,] “If funded, will complete approved activities within FY 2024 and will not use third party contractors to complete SNAP-Ed work.” Does this mean I cannot hire a Nutrition Educator on a 1-year contract?
No, contracting staff whose work or deliverables you will oversee, such as Nutrition Educators, is allowable; however, outsourcing or subcontracting to entities or individuals to administer and/or manage a part or the entirety of your SNAP-Ed program is not permitted.
My organization is currently funded by SNAP-Ed at MFF in FY23. Which funding option (to be a subrecipient or a community impact project in FY24) should I consider?
Federal regulations outline criteria to delineate between subrecipient grantees and service providers as contractors. All currently funded organizations in FY23 (subrecipient and community impact project) and new organizations that meet the eligibility criteria to be a subrecipient and can demonstrate capacity to independently design, deliver, and monitor a federal grant, like SNAP-Ed, need to submit to be a subrecipient in FY24. Furthermore, a currently funded organization’s record of program performance and grant compliance will be considered; those with a successful record need to pursue being a subrecipient in FY24.
If you are unsure whether your organization should submit a proposal package to be a subrecipient in FY24, we recommend you submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the RFP. When MFF reviews your LOI, we will look to ensure you meet adequate standards to be a subrecipient and provide feedback on whether you should continue with the RFP process or consider other potential funding opportunities.
If you plan to apply as a Community Impact Project in FY24, the Request for Application process will open April 24, 2023.
We are currently a [FY 2023] subrecipient and are eligible for the FY 2024 RFP. However, we are looking to make some program adjustments to [better meet changing] community needs. Is there an opportunity to talk to someone [at MFF] about the things we are considering ahead of submitting a proposal to ensure we aren’t changing anything that would [jeopardize] our chances for funding?
Questions about the FY 2024 RFP must come in through the FAQs or in the technical assistance session to be answered and posted so that everyone can benefit from the information. While there is not an opportunity to talk to MFF staff about proposed programming details before submitting a proposal package, keep in mind that what you anticipate and include in a proposal can evolve over time. If funded, there will be opportunity for conversations with an MFF Program Manager to finalize your programming for the upcoming year.
Is the subrecipient [contract] for one year?
Currently, funding is for one program year.
Are there any word count limitations for the program narrative?
No, there is no word or page limit; however, we encourage you to be thoughtful and intentional about what and how much information is included to clearly describe your programming.