Illinois Department of Human Services
Division of Family and Community Services
Bureau of Family Nutrition
Released:  October, 2014

Services for Commodity Supplemental Food Program 88310 Request for Applications (RFA)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. PART I
    1. Date of Issuance
    2. Issuing Organizational Unit
    3. RFA Availability
    4. Due Date, Location and Time of Application Opening
    5. Audit Submission Requirements
    6. Application Submission Requirements
    7. Eligible Applicants
    8. Questions and Answers
    9. Award Process
    10. Review Panel
    11. Estimated Length of Agreement
    12. Withdrawal Disclaimer
    13. Modifications to Applications by Applicants
    14. Modifications to Applications by DHS
    15. Clarifications, Negotiations or Discussions Initiated by DHS
    16. DHS Grants Information Conference
    17. Late Applications/Responses
    18. Objections
    19. Commencement of Service
    20. Public Information
    21. Contract
    22. Program Evaluation and Reporting Requirements
    23. Training and Technical Assistance
    24. Congressional and Legislative Districts
    25. Additional Information
    26. Sectarian Issue
    27. Background Checks
    28. Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Mandate
    29. Hiring and Employment Policy
  2. PART II
  3. INTRODUCTION
    1. Intent of the RFA
    2. Department's Need for Services (Rationale)
    3. Objectives/Services to be performed (the Approach)
    4. Service Area
    5. Mandatory Requirements of Applicants
    6. Award Amount
  4. APPLICATION CONTENT (SCORED AS INDICATED)
    1. Executive Summary (2 page maximum) - Not scored
    2. Organization Qualifications/Organizational Capacity (7 page maximum) - 40 points
    3. Application
      1. Purpose of Funding (12 page maximum) (20 points)
      2. Target Population (1.5 page maximum) (15 points)
      3. Community Outreach and Collaboration: (1 page maximum) (15 points)
      4. Budget and Budget Justification (5 page maximum) (10 points)
      5. Service Area
    4. Linguistic and Cultural Competency Plan - Not Scored (6 page maximum)
  5. ATTACHMENTS to this Request for Applications (RFA)

PART I

  1. Date of Issuance

    • October 1, 2014
  2. Issuing Organizational Unit

    • Illinois Department of Human Services
      Division of Family and Community Services
      Bureau of Family Nutrition
      815-823 East Monroe St
      Springfield, Illinois 62701
    • Contact Person:
      • Penny Roth, Bureau Chief
        Bureau of Family Nutrition
        815-823 East Monroe St
        Springfield, Illinois 62701
        Phone: (217) 782-2166
        Fax: (217) 785-5247
        Email: Penny.Roth@illinois.gov
    • Questions:  If you suspect an error in the application, please email the Contact Person listed above and include the Title of the RFA in the subject box of your email. If you have a question concerning the content of the FRA, please email William Strahle at William.Strahle@illinois.gov and include the Title of the RFA in the subject box of your email. Questions must be received by COB on October, 31, 2014.
  3. RFA Availability

    • Copies of this RFA may be downloaded from the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) website at http://www.dhs.state.il.us.
  4. Due Date, Location and Time of Application Opening

    • Applications must be received no later than 2:00 P.M. on November 14, 2014. The Application container will be time-stamped upon receipt. The Department will not accept applications submitted by electronic mail, on diskette or by facsimile machine. Applications will be opened November 17, 2014 at 9:00 A.M. Mail your completed paper grant applications according to the instructions given in Part I, Section F i.e. original plus five copies to the exact address:
      • Illinois Department of Human Services Procurement Office
        "Sealed Bid - Do Not Open"
        Commodity Supplemental Food Program RFA
        Centrum North, 401 North 4th Street, 2nd Floor
        Springfield, IL 62702
      • Due Date & Time: November 14, 2014 at 4:00 PM
      • Attendance at the Opening will be subject to State of Illinois security measures. Please plan accordingly by allowing enough time for security screening and bringing a government issued photo id.
  5. Audit Submission Requirements

    • All organizations applying for state funds must submit one (1) copy of their most recent audited financial statements as part of their application.  The Department will use the audit to ascertain the fiscal health of Applicants.
    • While the audit will not be scored as part of the review the Department reserves the right to use information in the audit to assist in the final recommendation for funding.  Applicants are expected to demonstrate through their audits a strong financial position and an ability to obtain funding outside of the public sector.
    • Units of government (such as cities and counties, schools, health departments, etc.) do not need to submit an audit.
  6. Application Submission Requirements

    • To be considered, applications must be in the possession of the Department of Human Services staff at the specified location and by the designated date and time listed above.  The deadline will be strictly enforced without exception. 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.
    • APPLICATIONS THAT ARE FAXED, HANDWRITTEN, SINGLE-SPACED AND/OR LATE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED AND WILL BE IMMEDIATELY DISQUALIFIED. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS.
    • All applications must be typed on 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper using 12-point type and at 100% magnification (not reduced). With the exception of letterhead and stationery for letter(s) of support, the entire application should be typed in black ink on white paper. The program narrative must be typed, double-spaced, on one side of the page, with 1-inch margins on all sides. The program narrative must not exceed the specific page limits outlined in this RFA. The appendices, assurances, letters of support/collaboration and budget forms are NOT included in the page limitation.
    • The entire application, including appendices, must be sequentially page numbered. Applications should be bound with a single staple or binder clip in the upper left-hand corner. Applicants must not use any other form of binding, including ring binders, spiral binders, report covers or rubber bands as well as subject dividers or tabs to extend beyond the 8 1/2 x 11 inch page.
    • Applicants must submit one unbound clearly identified originally signed application and five (5) completed copies of the application. Additionally, applicants must include one (1) completed electronic copy of the application (disk, USB drives, etc.) Faxed copies will not be accepted.
    • Not adhering to these guidelines for application submission constitutes grounds for application disqualification. Therefore, the Department is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the above requirements.
  7. Eligible Applicants

    • All public, private or not-for-profit community-based agencies in any area of the state are eligible to apply. At a minimum, awards will be made to a vendor or vendors serving the city of Chicago and Cook County and a vendor or vendors serving southern Illinois (including Madison, St. Clair, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Massac, Pulaski and Alexander counties) , in order to assure continuous services to participants who are currently receiving services in those areas. However, it is the intent of the Department to expand the program to additional service areas, contingent upon the availability of resources. This funding opportunity is not limited to those who currently have a Commodity Supplemental Food Program contract award from the Department of Human Services.
    • Each applicant must have access to the Internet. The Department's website will contain information regarding the RFA. It is the responsibility of each applicant to monitor that website and comply with any instructions or requirements relating to the RFA.
    • Agencies awarded funds through this grant must have or obtain a computer that meets the following minimum specifications for the purpose of utilizing the receipt of electronic program and fiscal information:
      • Internet access, preferably high-speed
      • Email capability
      • Microsoft Excel
      • Microsoft Word
  8. Questions and Answers

    • Each applicant must have access to the Internet. The Department's website and the Illinois Procurement Bulletin website will contain information regarding the RFA. It is the responsibility of each applicant to monitor that website and comply with any instructions or requirements relating to the RFA.
    • All questions about the contents of the RFA are to be directed to Penny Roth via email at Penny.Roth@Illinois.gov.  Include the Title of the RFA in the Subject Box of your email. "Questions and Answers" will be posted on the DHS website at http://www.dhs.state.il.us.  Only written answers, approved by the State Purchasing Officer, will be considered official. Questions will not be accepted after October 31, 2014.
  9. Award Process

    • It is anticipated that Applicants will be notified by the Department regarding funding decisions in January 2015. Successful Applicants will be notified in writing by letter from the Secretary of the Department of Human Services. A Notice of Grant Award is not equivalent to an agreement with the Department to commence providing service. Successful applicants will receive the FY16 Community Service Agreement or an amendment thereto for their signature and return. The release of this RFA does not compel the Department of Human Services to make an award.
  10. Review Panel

    • Applications will be reviewed by a panel established by staff from DHS, which may include Department staff familiar with the requirements of the program, academics and experts in relevant field, and community-based social services providers who are not party to applications for funding under this announcement. Panel members will initially read and evaluate applications independently using guidelines furnished by DHS and will subsequently participate in review panel meetings during which applications will be reviewed and scored collectively.
    • The Department reserves the right to consider factors other than the Applicant's final score in determining final grant recommendations. Such factors may include (but are not limited to) geographic service area, Applicant's past performance, or degree of need for services.
    • Any internal documentation used in scoring or awarding of grants shall not be considered public information.
  11. Estimated Length of Agreement

    • The Department estimates that the initial term of the agreement resulting from this RFA will be July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016, with the possibility of four (4) individual one-year renewals, subject to the availability of funds and the satisfactory performance of the provider.
  12. Withdrawal Disclaimer

    • The Department of Human Services may withdraw this Request for Applications at any time prior to the actual time a fully executed agreement is filed with the State of Illinois Comptroller's Office.
  13. Modifications to Applications by Applicants

    • To make a modification to a application after it has been submitted, the Applicant must submit a complete replacement application package, as described above under "Application Submission Requirements," accompanied by a letter requesting that the replacement application be considered. This must be received at the prescribed location by date and time designated under Item D.
  14. Modifications to Applications by DHS

    • If it becomes necessary or appropriate for DHS to change any part of the RFA, a modification to the RFA will be available from the Department's (DHS) website at http://www.dhs.state.il.us
    • In case of such an unforeseen event, DHS will issue detailed instructions for how to proceed.
  15. Clarifications, Negotiations or Discussions Initiated by DHS

    • The Department may contact any applicant prior to the final award for the following purposes.
    • As part of the Department's review process, the Department may request an Applicant clarify its bid or application. An Applicant may not be allowed to materially change its bid or application in response to a request for clarification.
    • Discussions may be held to promote understanding of the Department's requirements and the Applicant's application and to facilitate arriving at a contract that will be most advantageous to the State considering price and other evaluation factors set forth in the RFA.
    • When the Department knows or has reason to conclude that a mistake has been made, the Department shall ask the Applicant to confirm the information. Situations in which confirmation should be requested include obvious or apparent errors on the face of the document or a price unreasonably lower than the price others submitted, or if the price is considerably high than what is currently paid for this type of services. If the Applicant alleges a mistake, the bid or application may be corrected or withdrawn following the conditions set forth by the State of Illinois.
  16. DHS Grants Information Conference

    • Grants Information Conference will NOT be held. Applicants can submit questions regarding the RFA, according to the instructions given in Sections B and H of this Part.
  17. Late Applications/Responses

    • Late applications will not be opened or considered and will be automatically disqualified, but will be retained by the Department.
  18. Objections

    • Applicants who object to any provision of the RFA, who believe their application was improperly rejected, or who believe that the selected application(s) is/are not in the best interest of the Department may submit a written protest of the Department's action. The Department will consider all such written protests that are submitted according to the time periods specified below. The Department will investigate all allegations and issue a written response.
    • The decision of the Department is final. Protests must be in writing and will be considered filed when physically received by the Department at the following address:
      • Department of Human Services General Counsel's Office
        Ms. Kathy Ward, Senior Deputy General Counsel
        100 W. Randolph, Suite 6-400
        Chicago, Illinois 60601
    • Protests must be filed within seven (7) calendar days after the Protestor knows or should have known of the facts giving rise to the protest.
    • Protests regarding RFA specifications must be filed with seven (7) calendar days after the date the RFA was issued and, in any event must be filed before the date for opening the applications. If a protest is received, any award made is not final until the protest is resolved.
  19. Commencement of Service

    • The Department is not obligated to reimburse applicants for expenses incurred prior to the complete and final execution of the written contract. If the Applicant receives an award letter from the Secretary, then it is reasonable to assume that the Department will be forwarding the Applicant a contract.
    • No services can be reimbursed prior to the full and complete execution of the contract and filing with the Illinois Office of the Comptroller.
  20. Public Information

    • Some information submitted pursuant to this RFA is subject to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act. The successful Applicant must recognize and accept that any material marked proprietary or confidential that must be made a part of the contract may be considered open for public inspection. Price information submitted by the successful Applicants shall be considered public.
    • For applications that are not selected for funding, only the list of those submitting applications/responses shall be considered public. Any internal documentation used to determine grant selections will not be considered public information.
    • Applicant scores will NOT be made public. The Department may give Applicants feedback about their application upon request and at the discretion of the Department.
  21. Contract

    • The legal agreement between DHS and the successful Applicants will be in the form and format prescribed by DHS. The standard DHS Community Service Agreement (CSA) will be used when contracting for services. Samples of this agreement may be found at www.dhs.state.il.us and in Attachment E of the RFA. If selected for funding, the Applicant will be provided a DHS Community Service Agreement for their signature and return. Applicants must note any exceptions contained in the CSA. All exceptions must be agreed to by DHS before awarding any grants and execution of the CSA.
  22. Program Evaluation and Reporting Requirements

    • In order to assure accountability at all levels of service provision, the Illinois Department of Human Services is implementing the practice of performance-based contracting with its grantee agencies. The articulation and achievement of measurable outcomes assure that we are carrying out the most effective programming possible.
  23. Training and Technical Assistance

    • Programs must agree to receive consultation and technical assistance from authorized representatives of the Department. The program and collaborating partners will be required to be in attendance at site visits. Programs will be required to attend regular meetings and training as provided by the Department or a sub-contractor of the Department. At a minimum, programs should expect to send appropriate staff to two meetings and one statewide conference per year.
  24. Congressional and Legislative Districts

    • On the required Application Cover Sheet, the Applicant must provide, the Congressional District (by number), available at the following web site: http://www.house.gov and the Illinois House and Senate Legislative Districts (by number), available on the Illinois General Assembly web site at http://www.ilga.gov.
  25. Additional Information

    • The Department reserves the right to request additional information that could assist the Department with its award decision. Applicants are expected to provide the additional information within a reasonable period of time. Failure to provide the information could result in the rejection of the application.
  26. Sectarian Issue

    • Applicant organizations may not expend federal or state funds for sectarian instruction, worship, prayer, or proselytization.  If the applicant organization is a faith based or religious organization that offers such activities, these activities shall be voluntary for the individuals receiving services and offered separately from the program.
  27. Background Checks

    • Background checks are required for all program staff and volunteers who have one-on-one contact with children and youth. Funded programs will be required to have a written protocol on file requiring background checks, as well as evidence of their completion.
  28. Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Mandate

    • Per the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act, adults working with children and youth under the age of 18 years old are mandated reporters for suspected child abuse and neglect. Funded programs must have a written protocol for identifying and reporting suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect.
  29. 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's 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 programs are encouraged to consider TANF clients for employment, contingent upon their qualifications in the area of education and work experience.

PART II

INTRODUCTION

  1. Intent of the RFA

    • The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS or the Department), Division of Family and Community Services receive funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to administer the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) in Illinois. The goal of the CSFP program is to improve the health and nutritional status of the elderly.
    • The intent of this Request for Application (RFA) is to solicit applications in order to identify a vendor or vendors for the administration, receipt, storage, handling and distribution of food and nutritional information to eligible participants through the CSFP program. The selected vendor or vendors will be required to comply with all USDA/FNS Regulations, policies and instructions and State policies and procedures for the CSFP program. The USDA/FNS regulations can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/programs/csfp.
    • Due to the significant increase of elderly individuals participating in CSFP, the target population for this RFA is senior citizens who meet the eligibility requirements: 60 years and older with a household income limit at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty income guidelines.
  2. Department's Need for Services (Rationale)

    • The federally funded CSFP program has operated for over 25 years in Illinois. The program provides foods such as vegetables, fruits, juices, meats, dry beans, dairy, oils, grains and ready to eat cereals, as well as nutritional and health information, to elderly men and women 60 years and older and whose income is at or below the 130 percent of the federal poverty level; who are residents of Illinois.
    • Services are currently provided in areas of Chicago and Cook County and in southern Illinois (including Madison, St. Clair, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Massac, Pulaski and Alexander counties). These geographic areas must be covered with no disruption of services for eligible participants currently receiving services. The Departments goal and intent is to expand the availability of CSFP in additional service areas with the greatest need, as indicated by rates of poverty.
    • Due to the need for large-scale storage space and distribution capacity, the Department requires the services of a vendor or vendors with warehouse and distribution capabilities to operate the program. The IDHS is therefore seeking a vendor or vendors to receive, store, determine eligibility and distribute commodity foods and provide information about nutrition, other health services to CSFP participants. The vendor should maintain appropriate levels of inventory, maintain and appropriately safeguard USDA foods in their handling, storage and distribution per 7 CFR 250.14(b). IDHS also requires the vendor or vendors to conduct administrative activities through this procurement process. Any sub-contracts for CSFP services must be approved by DHS and must contain and must adhere to the same requirements as in the agreement with DHS.
  3. Objectives/Services to be performed (the Approach)

    • The major responsibilities of the selected vendor(s) will include, but not be limited to:
      • Determining the eligibility of applicants
      • Providing warehouse facilities for receiving, storing and distributing commodities provided under the CSFP, in compliance with the Illinois Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (410 ILCS 620/1 through 620/26) and other applicable state and federal regulations. The Provider shall also monitor the warehouse operations by observing the receiving, storing, and delivery of commodities to the certification/distribution centers. The warehouse shall ship commodities to the certification/distribution centers based on packing dates, ensuring that the oldest commodities are used first.
      • The selected vendor or vendors will be required to comply with all USDA/FNS Regulations, policies and instructions and State policies and procedures for the CSFP program. The USDA/FNS regulations can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/programs/csfp.
      • The vendor should maintain appropriate levels of inventory, maintain and appropriately safeguard USDA foods in their handling, storage and distribution per 7 CFR 250.14(b).
      • The vendor or vendors will agree to be monitored by DHS and/or any USDA/FNS entity, including the Office of Inspector (OIG) auditors.
      • Operating certification/distribution of commodities. If certification and distribution both cannot be accomplished at each established site, arrangements shall be made for client certification centrally or at satellite locations. The Provider shall maintain client certification master files at a central location.
      • Ensuring that: the certification/distribution centers have adequate food storage space; health and fire safety codes are being observed; and special requirements for storage and distribution of perishables are met. The certification/distribution centers shall distribute commodities to CSFP clients using the first in--first out (FIFO) inventory method.
      • Maintaining monthly inventory reports for the established warehouse facilities. Such reports shall indicate quantities of items on hand at the start of the week, receipts, distributions, and inventory on hand at the end of the week.
      • Operating the certification/distribution centers in compliance with regulations and policies. Maintaining client issuance and client certification records in proper order; maintain inventory of food receipt and issuance records in proper order; properly account for the disposal of damaged food; maintain a clean, vermin-free premise; and prepare and implement corrective action plans to address problems found at any certification/distribution center.
      • Implementing procedures in cooperation with the Department to detect and prevent dual participation within the CSFP.
      • Implementing fair hearing procedures for persons who file statements claiming inappropriate adverse action.
      • Maintaining an adequate accounting and record keeping system which shall include, but not be limited to, appropriate accounting ledgers, copies of all subcontracts, invoices and correspondence that will provide a distinct audit trail for Department and federal auditors.
      • Providing the Department with written policy and procedures which detail the management and administration of the CSFP.
      • Ensuring that participation meets but does not exceed the caseload assigned by the Department;
      • Providing required monthly caseload and commodity inventory report to the Department;
      • For all appropriate vendor agency staff, attending training on CSFP procedures, as required by the IDHS;
      • Maintaining accurate receipt, distribution, inventory and fiscal records; providing required monthly fiscal reports to IDHS according to the schedule established by the Department;
      • Providing yearly commodity breakdown calculations based on units;
      • Providing nutritional information and materials on the availability of other nutrition and health assistance programs to participants;
      • Informing applicants of their rights and responsibilities in the program;
      • Meeting the special needs of the homebound elderly;
      • Pursuing claims against participants, as necessary or required;
      • Assuring that no person will be subject to discrimination under the program on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.
  4. Service Area

    • The Department's goal and intent is to make CSFP services available to as many geographical areas of the state as possible. Realizing this goal will be contingent upon adequate resources and/or the service areas and demographics described in the applications received in response to this RFA. Services are currently provided in areas of Chicago and Cook County and in southern Illinois (including Madison, St. Clair, Union, Johnson, Pope, Hardin, Massac, Pulaski and Alexander counties). These geographic areas must be covered with no disruption of services for eligible participants currently receiving services.
  5. Mandatory Requirements of Applicants

    • Interested applicants should take note of the following program-specific mandatory requirements. General requirements are found in Part 1 of this RFA.
    • Mandatory requirements for CSFP applicants include the following:
      • Agency Experience - Accurate accounting of food inventory is critical using Microsoft Excel software. The applicant organization must provide their plan to assure there is no disruption in services for eligible participants currently receiving services.  Additionally, the applicant organization must demonstrate its experience in nutrition education activities for the targeted population (please see Part II, Section B, "Department's Need for Services" above).
      • Staffing - Programs must utilize existing staff or recruit and hire staff for the program who are qualified for their positions through education, experience and/or training. Ideally some staff would have a nutrition background.
      • Training - Staff responsible for the program must have been trained in service of commodity foods following USDA regulations.
      • Cultural and Linguistic Competency - Overall, services must be provided in a culturally sensitive manner. Providers need to understand, acknowledge, and respect the cultural differences among the target population and provide services in a relevant, competent and appropriate manner in accordance with these differences. Please see and complete the Attachment E included.
  6. Award Amount

    • The Department anticipates awarding a total of $800,000 to $1,255,000 annualized to one or more vendors across the state. The number, distribution and level of awards made will depend on the receipt and availability of federal funds and the service areas described in the applications received. The program receives funding based on achieved average caseload.

APPLICATION CONTENT (SCORED AS INDICATED)

Applicants must submit an application that contains the information outlined below. Each section must have a heading that corresponds to the headings listed below. If the applicant believes that the subject has been adequately addressed in another part of the application narrative, then provide the cross-reference to the appropriate part of the narrative. The narrative portion must follow the page guidelines and limits set for in each section and must be in the specified order below. Exceeding the prescribed page limits is grounds for automatic disqualification.

  1. Executive Summary (2 page maximum) - Not scored

    • State the total amount of funds requested.
    • Address the need for the Commodity Supplemental Food Program for the community/target population.
    • Describe the target population and include the number of participants the program will serve with these funds during the fiscal year of operation.
    • Describe the county(ies), or community(ies) to be served with these funds. Include names and addresses of relevant locations.
    • Provide a clear overview of the services you propose to provide with these funds.
  2. Organization Qualifications/Organizational Capacity (7 page maximum) - 40 points

    • The purpose of this section is for the applicant to present an accurate picture of the agency's ability to provide the services and capacity for community collaboration. Information in this section should include, but not be limited to, the following:
      1. Your agency's mission.
      2. A description of your organization's history, milestones and major achievements.
      3. A description of your agency's overall organizational structure. Include an organizational chart of the applicant agency as Appendix A, showing where the program and its staff will be placed. If subcontractors will be used, include the relationship with those organizations in the chart.
      4. Evidence of key staff qualifications. If training is needed, describe what those training needs are, as well as the agency's willingness to ensure that all staff in need of training receive it prior to commencement of service delivery. Describe procedures to ensure program staff are capable of and sensitive to working with your target population. Include resumes of the Executive Director and Program Director as Appendix B of your application. Include job descriptions for all employee positions that will be funded with this grant, including the Program Director, and an indication of the percent of time those employees will spend in this program. These should be included as Appendix C of your application.
      5. A description of your agency's procedure for conducting background checks.
      6. A description of your agency's current main programs and total number of clients served in each program.
      7. Evaluation and monitoring (a description of how the organization will evaluate whether it has achieved all measurable objectives contained herein).
      8. The vendor or vendors will agree to be monitored by IDHS and/or any USDA/FNS entity, including the Office of Inspector (OIG) auditors.
      9. A description of your organization's experience, readiness and capacity for service delivery. Include experience with warehouse procedures for receipt, proper storage, distribution and record keeping of USDA commodity foods.
      10. A description of your agency's involvement with existing advisory groups and collaborative relationships with community partners related to nutrition education and referral to other related services.
      11. Assurance of your agency's access to the Internet.
  3. Application

    • The selected vendor or vendors will be required to comply with all USDA/FNS Regulations, policies and instructions and State policies and procedures for the CSFP program. The USDA/FNS regulations can be found at http://www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/programs/csfp.  The vendor should maintain appropriate levels of inventory, maintain and appropriately safeguard USDA foods in their handling, storage and distribution per 7 CFR 250.14(b). Any sub-contracts for CSFP services must be approved by DHS and must contain and must adhere to the same requirements as in the agreement with DHS.
      1. Purpose of Funding (12 page maximum) (20 points)
        1. Program Description: Explain how the funds will be used, including a description of how you will address the following issues and requirements:
          • Determining eligibility of applicants
          • Ensuring that participation meets but does not exceed the caseload assigned by the Department and providing required monthly caseload reporting;
          • Informing applicants of their rights and responsibilities in the program;
          • Issuing food to participants in accordance with the established food package guide rates;
          • Providing or assuring the provision of training that is necessary or required for staff on CSFP procedures;
          • Maintaining accurate receipt, distribution, inventory and fiscal records; providing required monthly reports to IDHS by the 15th of the following month;
          • Providing nutrition education information to participants and the availability of additional nutrition and health assistance programs available to them;
          • Establishing a procedure for resolving complaints;
          • Meeting the special needs of the homebound elderly;
          • Pursuing claims against participants;
          • Assuring that each storage site and distribution site complies with industry standard food safety and sanitation requirements;
          • Assuring that steps will be taken to prevent and detect dual participation; and
          • Assuring that no person will be subject to discrimination under the program on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability.
        2. Program Methodology
          • Describe how you plan to provide the services above, in terms of method and strategies for each component.
          • Describe how services will be delivered in a culturally appropriate and sensitive manner and in a setting appropriate to the target population.
        3. Program Timeline: Describe the timeline for program implementation. Include the projected dates for initial activities; participant certification; receipt of commodity food; storage; distribution; staff trainings; and reporting.
      2. Target Population (1.5 page maximum) (15 points)
        • The population who are eligible for CSFP includes income eligible senior men and women 60 years of age and up who are residents of Illinois. Due to the significant increase of elderly individuals participating in CSFP, the target population for this RFA is primarily senior citizens who meet the eligibility requirements described in Part II, A; however, there must be no disruption of services for participants currently being served. The current participant numbers and areas include 3,600 participants in southern Illinois and 13,423 participants in the Chicago/Cook County area.
        • Provide a table with the information requested below for the specific CSFP population you intend to serve, in your target service area. Information must be presented by quarter within the state fiscal year (July 1 - September 30; October 1 - December 31; January 1 - March 31; and April 1 - June 30):
          1. The expected unduplicated number of participants to be served for the fiscal year, including ethnicity, gender, and age.
          2. The geographic area to be served and the location of the service area(s) in the community where the program will be provided shown on a map.
          3. The socioeconomic status of the community to be served, including such indicators as the number/percent of low-income families and/or welfare recipients; the general economic status of the community; the racial/ethnic breakout; and other demographic or economic indicators of the community.
      3. Community Outreach and Collaboration: (1 page maximum) (15 points)
        • Provide letters of commitment from community partners in Appendix D, and a description of other community resources and services. Letters of support from additional partners will strengthen your application and may also be included in Appendix D.
      4. Budget and Budget Justification (5 page maximum) (10 points)
        1. Complete the Budget Forms found in Attachment C of this RFA. Please take note of the Allowable Costs found in Attachment D of this RFA (7CFR Part 247.25). Your budget must specify the percentage and amount of funds to be used for administration and other services, and must clearly identify any staff training and start-up funds. The Budget Forms must be included in Attachment C of your application.
        2. Provide a Budget Narrative describing how appropriate resources and personnel have been allocated for the tasks and activities described. The Budget Narrative must also be included in Appendix E of your application.
      5. Service Area
        • The Department of Human Services is interested in gathering information about the service delivery area statewide for each agency/program providing services to our participants. This geographic analysis helps us to assure that services are being delivered in the areas of greatest need in the most efficient and effective manner possible. Because of the importance of this information, your application service delivery area will be reviewed in the context of your application and the State's need for services in that area.A map of the IDHS regions for the Division of Family and Community Services Regional Map may be found at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/OneNetLibrary/27897/documents/OneMap.pdf or http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=55223.
        • Provide a description that will give us as much information as possible about the geographic area you intend to serve with the funds awarded through this grant opportunity. Include this description as Appendix E of your application. Please note that, although the Department is actively seeking providers in any/all areas of the state, there must be no disruption of services for participants currently being served. The current participant numbers and areas include 3,000 participants in southern Illinois and 13,525 participants in the Chicago/Cook County area.
        • PLEASE USE THESE CATEGORIES, as appropriate to your description:
          • DHS Region
          • County
          • City
          • ZIP Code(s)
          • Chicago only: Community Area(s)
        • It is suggested that you reserve the use of other categories (such as townships, highways, street names) for situations where that is the only way you can describe the area.
        • Guidelines:
          • Be as specific as you can - For example, if you will serve only a portion of a county, describe which portion.
          • Use common sense - If you are serving an entire county, you do not need to list all the cities and ZIP codes within that county.
  4. Linguistic and Cultural Competency Plan - Not Scored (6 page maximum)

    • Complete the Linguistic and Cultural Competence Plan document found in Attachment E of this RFA according to the outlined guidelines.

ATTACHMENTS to this Request for Applications (RFA)