19-444-80-0704-01 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Earnfare (Cook County)

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Summary Information

1. Awarding Agency Name: Human Services
2. Agency Contact:

Marie Versher


3. Announcement Type: Initial announcement
4. Type of Assistance Instrument: Grant
5. Funding Opportunity Number: 19-444-80-0704-01
6. Funding Opportunity Title: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Earnfare (Cook County)
7. CSFA Number: 444-80-0704
8. CSFA Popular Name: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Earnfare (Cook County)
9. CFDA Number(s): 10.561
10. Anticipated Number of Awards: Up to 17
11. Estimated Total Program Funding: $539,784
12. Award Range $3,528 - $254,016
13. Source of Funding: Federal or Federal pass-through
14. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
15. Indirect Costs Allowed Yes
Restrictions on Indirect Costs No
16. Posted Date: February 22, 2018
17.Application Range: Posting date through March 23, 2018
18. Technical Assistance Session: Session Offered: No
Session Mandatory: No

NOFO Supplemental

(Agency-specific Content for the Notice of Funding Opportunity)

A. Program Description

 Earnfare is an employment and training program which offers eligible participants an opportunity to gain work experience and earn cash assistance. Participation is limited to adults who receive non-assistance Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

benefits and who volunteer.

Participants work off the value of their SNAP benefits at the state or federal minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to a maximum number of hours per month before earning cash assistance. These Earnfare employers do not receive administrative payments.

In Cook County, staff in the Departments Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) orient and assess participants, determine supportive service needs, and refer them to appropriate Earnfare employers developed and contracted directly by the Department.


Earnfare Providers are expected to serve on and engage a specific amount of customers monthly during the period July 1 through June 30. The total annual number of subsidized positions will depend on the amount of customers allotted to the Provider during the award process.

The Provider is expected to ensure that:

1.Participants are adequately supervised at work sites and training facilities and that the physical environment is appropriate and meets all applicable standards set by State and Federal laws, rules and regulations.

2.Earnfare participants do not work more than 40 hours per week, eight (8) hours per day, unless the Providers standard work shift exceeds eight (8) hours per day. All Earnfare participants are limited to 40 hours of work per week.

3.All Earnfare assignments begin and end on the hour or half hour each day and are completed within the calendar month.

4.Earnfare participants will participate for cash assistance no more than six (6) months in any fiscal year (consecutive 12 month period from July through June) as indicated in the Providers Agreement.

5.Earnfare participants are expressly prohibited from delivering or maintaining their own attendance records.


The Provider shall receive negotiated compensation (payments) for services under this Agreement for the period of July 1 through June 30.

Payments are allocated under one category; Financial Assistance Payments to Participants.

Financial Assistance Payments to Participants

The Department will reimburse the Provider for work performed in Earnfare a maximum of $294.00 per participant per month for cash assistance actually and appropriately issued to participants, and up to/not to exceed the Estimated amount for Financial Assistance

Payments to Participants.

Supportive Services

The Department will issue supportive services to Earnfare participants.


The Provider will receive an initial advance to cover the cost of Financial Assistance Payments and Supportive Services. The Provider will work off the advance in the month of January.

Hiring and Employment Policy:

It is the policy of the Department to encourage cultural diversity in the work environment and to promote employment opportunities through its programs. The Department philosophy is that the program workforce should appropriately reflect the populations to be served, with special attention given to hiring individuals indigenous to those communities. Consistent with Department policy, whenever a position becomes available, funded agencies and programs are encouraged to consider SNAP and TANF clients for employment, contingent upon their qualifications in the areas of education and work experience.

Accordingly, priority points will be awarded to agencies whose applications include plans to coordinate with the local DHS Family and Community Resource Center(s) to advertise job vacancies and hire TANF and SNAP clients.

B. Funding Information

 This award utilizes appropriate Federal funds. In FY2019, the Department anticipates funding up to 17 awards as described in the NOFO ranging from an average of $3,528 to $254,016.

Applicants must submit a program plan which supports the level of funding and details service delivery and deliverables. Applications for new and existing providers will be scored with the same scoring matrix.

The grant period will begin no sooner than July 1, 2018 and will extend through June 30, 2019.

The release of this NOFO does not obligate the Illinois Department of Human Services to make an award. Work cannot begin until a contract is fully executed by the Department.

C. Eligibility Information

 Eligible applicants include private, not-for-profit community based organizations that are incorporated and have been granted 501©(3) status, public community based organizations, including units of local government, and private, for-profit community based organizations.

All applicants must be Pre-Qualified to apply for this funding notice through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal @ www.grants.illinois.gov . Registrations and pre-qualifications are required annually. Applications from entities that have not completed the GATA pre-qualification process prior to the due date of this application will NOT be reviewed or considered for funding.

Applicant has prepared a budget in accordance with the template provided by the Illinois Department of Human Services which follows and adheres to all applicable Federal guidelines.

Cost Sharing or Match

Cost sharing is not a requirement of this application. There are also no match requirements.

Indirect Cost Rate Requirements

In order to charge indirect costs to a grant, the applicant organization must have an annually negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). There are three types of NICRAs: a) Federally Negotiated Rate. Organizations that receive direct federal funding, may have an indirect cost rate that was negotiated with the Federal Cognizant Agency. Illinois will accept the federally negotiated rate. The organization must provide a copy of the federally NICRA. b) State Negotiated Rate. The organization must negotiate an indirect cost rate with the State of Illinois if they do not have a Federally Negotiated Rate. Or the organization may elect to use the De Minimis Rate. If an organization has not previously established in indirect cost rate, an indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted to the State of Illinois through the indirect cost rate system, CARS, no later than three months after the effective date of the award. If an organization previously established an indirect cost rate, the organization must annually submit a new indirect cost proposal through CARS within six months after the close of the grantee's fiscal year. All grantees must complete an indirect cost rate negotiation or elect the De Minimis Rate in CARS to claim indirect costs. Indirect costs claimed without an established negotiated rate or a De Minimis Rate election in CARS may be subject to disallowance. c) De Minimis Rate. An organization that has never received a Federally Negotiated Rate may elect a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct cost (MTDC). Once established, the de minimis rate may be used indefinitely. The State of Illinois must verify the calculation of the MTDC annually in order to accept the de minimis rate.

Grantees have discretion not to claim payment for indirect costs. Grantees that elect not to claim indirect costs cannot be reimbursed for indirect costs. The organization must record an election of "No Indirect Costs" into CARS.

D. Application and Submission Information

Indicate and describe in detail if the applicant entity has a current policy and practice of coordinating with local DHS Family and Community Resource Center(s) to advertise job vacancies and hire TANF and SNAP clients. If known, please indicate the number of TANF and SNAP clients that have been hired in recent years. If this is not current policy or practice, and the applicant intends to seek priority points in this area, please describe the detailed plans of the applicant to develop and implement such a policy in the future.

 Application materials are provided throughout this announcement. Applicants must have access to the internet. The Department's web site: http://www.dhs.state.il.us,  contains information regarding the NOFO and the materials necessary for submission. Questions and answers will also be posted on that site. It is the responsibility of each applicant to monitor the web site and comply with any instructions of requirements related to the NOFO.

Contact Person:

Marie Versher

IDHS, Workforce Development

2022 W. Roosevelt, 2nd Floor

Chicago, Il


Phone: 312-793-0208

In addition to the Mandatory forms required for all NOFO's (Uniform Grant application and Uniform Grant Budget template), applicants are required to submit a program plan. Each section of the program plan must be completed and supportive documentation requested in the program plan must be attached.

Applications must be received at the location below no later than 12:00 pm on March 23rd, 2018. The application container will be time-stamped upon receipt. The Department will only accept applications submitted by electronic mail. Applications will NOT be accepted if received by fax machine, hard copy, disk or thumb drive. Applications will be opened as they are received. Applicants will receive an email (with 72 hours of receipt or 120 hours if received on a non-business day) notifying them that their application was received and if it was received by the due date and time. This email reply will be sent to the original sender of the application. Applications received after the due date and time will not be considered for review or funding.

Submit the completed grant application to: DHS.GrantApp@illinois.gov  emailed with the subject line stating:

Provider's Organization name

Funding Opportunity Number (19-444-80-0704)

Program Contact Name (Marie Versher)

The subject line should look like this: ABC agency, 19-444-80-0704, Marie Versher.

If you have trouble emailing document due to file size, please utilize the CMS Transfer Utility located at https://filet.illinois.gov/filet/PIMupload.asp . Please follow the instructions to attach your application. Do not forget the subject line above.

To be considered, proposals must be emailed by the designated date and time above. For your records, please keep a copy of your email submission with the date and time the application was submitted along with the email address to which it was sent. The deadline will be strictly enforced. In the event of a dispute, the applicant bears the burden of proof that the application was received on time at the location listed above.

Dun and Bradstreet Universal Number System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM) - Each applicant (unless the applicant is an individual or Federal or State awarding agency that is exempt from those requirements under 2 CFR§25.110 (b) or (c), or has an exception approved by the Federal or State awarding agency under 2 CFR§25.110 (d)) is required to:

Be registered in SAM before submitting its application. If you are not registered in SAM, this line provides a connection for SAM registration: www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/#1  ;

Provide a valid DUNS number in its application; and

Continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal, Federal pass-through or State award or an application or plan under consideration by a Federal or State awarding agency. Until the applicant has complied with the requirement, the State awarding agency may not make a Federal pass-through or State award to an applicant. The State awarding agency may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive a Federal pass-through or State award and use that determination as a basis for making a Federal pass-through or State award to another applicant.

E. Application Review Information

Funding for the period of July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019 is not guaranteed. All applicants must demonstrate that they meet all requirements under this NOFO described throughout.

Applications that fail to meet the criteria described in the "Eligible Applicants" will not be scored nor considered for funding.

The Department will follow the Merit-based review process established by the Governor's Office of Management and Budget.


Review teams comprised of at least 3 individuals employed by IDHS serving in the Division of Family and Community Services will be assigned to review applications. These review teams, where possible, will be comprised of staff within the Bureau of Workforce Development.

Applications will be reviewed and scored individually, followed by a team review. Scores will then be sent to the application Review Coordinator to be complied and averaged to produce the final application score. Scoring will be on a 100 point scale.

Application Narratives will be evaluated on the following criteria: Points
Executive Summary   10 Points
Capacity-Agency Qualification/Organizational Capacity   35 Points
Quality-Description of Program/Services   40 Points
Budget & Budget Narrative   15 Points
TOTAL 100 Points
Priority Points 5 Points
TOTAL Possible with Priority 105 Points

 Local office coordination - up to an additional 5 points will be awarded to agencies whose applications include plans to coordinate with the local DHS Family and Community Resource Center(s) to advertise job vacancies and hire TANF and SNAP clients.

As described in the Criteria section above, scoring with be on a 105 point scale. Scoring will not be the sole award criterion. While recommendations of the review panel will be key factors in the funding decisions, the Department maintains final authority over funding decisions and considers the findings of the review panel to be non-binding recommendations. The Department may, for example consider other items such as geography, past performance, cost effectiveness, etc. when finalizing their decision. Any internal documentation used in scoring or awarding of grants shall not be considered public information.

Final award decisions will be made by the Director of the Division of Family and Community Services at the recommendation of the Associate Director for the Office of Workforce Development. The Department reserves the right to negotiate with successful applicants to adjust award amounts.

Appeals Process

Only the Merit Based Review Process is subject to appeal.

The Agency Head or designee may appoint one or more Appeal Review Officers (ARO) to consider the grant-related appeals and make a recommendation to the Agency Head or designee for resolution.

An appeal must be submitted in writing and received within 14 calendar days of the non-award notice and must include the name and address of the appealing party, identification of the grant, and a statement of reasons for the appeal. The Department will provide an acknowledgement within 14 calendar days of receipt of the appeal and a response within 60 calendar days or supply a written explanation to the appealing party as to why additional time is required.

F. Award Administration Information

 Applicants recommended for funding under this NOFO following the above review and selection process will receive a "Notice of State Award Finalist". This notice will identify additional grant award requirements that must be met before a grant award can be executed. These will include one or more of the following:

 Grantee Pre-Qualification Process

 Financial and Administrative Risk Assessment - Internal Control Questionnaire

 Conflict of interest and Mandatory Disclosures

A Notice of State Award (NOSA) will be issued to the review finalists that have successfully completed all grant award requirements. Based on the NOSA, the review finalist is positioned to make an informed decision to accept the grant award. The NOSA shall include:

The terms and conditions of the award.

 Specific conditions assigned to the grantee based on the fiscal and administrative and  programmatic risk assessments. Upon acceptance of the grant award, announcement of the  grant award shall be published by the awarding agency to Grants@Illinois.gov.

The NOSA must be signed by the grants officer (or equivalent). This signature effectively accepts the state award and all conditions set forth with the notice. The signed NOSA is the authorizing document. The Agency signed NOSA must be remitted to the Department as instructed in the notice.

The agency awarded funds shall provide services as set forth in the IDHS grant agreement and shall act in accordance with all state and federal statutes and administrative rules applicable to the provision of the services.

To review a copy of the FY2019 IDHS contract/grant agreement please visit the IDHS website.

G. State Awarding Agency Contact(s)

 If you have any questions about this NOFO, please send them via email to Marie Versher (Marie. Versher@illinois.gov) with NOFO in the Subject line of the Email.

H. Other Information, if applicable

Mandatory Forms -- Required for All Agencies

  1. Uniform Grant Application-0704 (pdf)
  2. Uniform Grant Budget Template | Instructions The budget template is attached to assist in determining expenses; however, the final budget must be completed in CSA.  The pdf budget or paper copy will not be accepted.  CSA Budget/Tracking System and Registration Information
  3. Project Narrative
  4. Budget Narrative