FAQ's

Everybody at the Table for Health (EAT4Health)

Frequently Asked Questions 

General back to top

  1. What is EAT4Health?
    Everybody at the Table for Health (EAT4Health) is a national leadership development initiative of the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation that aims to fill gaps in the existing food policy advocacy infrastructure by building and leveraging the strengths of grassroots organizations alongside the expertise of DC-based National Advocacy organizations. This initiative’s aim is to foster a more informed, equitable and powerful policy advocacy process resulting in federal food policy that promotes well-being for vulnerable children, their families and communities.
  2. What will be funded under this call for proposals (CFP)?
    The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and its multiple funding partners will fund community-based organizations (CBOs) that engage in:  organizing; base-building; and advocacy in order to develop their leadership and capacity to shape the debate around federal policies affecting the food environment in underserved communities. Each CBO will select a member of its senior staff or executive board to be an EAT4Health Fellow.  The EAT4Health Fellows will work with program staff and leaders of their CBO, each other, and selected National Advocacy Organizations to articulate a shared vision of community well-being supported by good federal food and farm policy.
  1. What are examples of food and farm policy objectives? 

There are many possibilities.  Some examples include action to: enforce pollution standards on emissions from factory farms; increase public investment in regional food infrastructure, such as food hubs and commercial kitchens; require labeling of genetically modified foods; expand incentives for the purchase of fruits and vegetables using SNAP and WIC benefits; strengthen guidelines meant to curb predatory marketing of unhealthy food to children and teenagers.

  1. How many grants will be awarded, what is the maximum award amount, and what is the grant period?
    A minimum of four and a maximum of 10 grants will be awarded. Each CBO will annually receive a program support grant of $50,000, a fellowship award of $40,000, and $10,000 to use to contract placement of the Fellow with a DC-area National Advocacy Organization of their choice.  Groups that remain in compliance with the terms of their grant agreement may receive funding for each year of the three-year EAT4Health initiative.  
  2. Is matching support required?
    No.
  1. What is the deadline for submitting a letter of interest? What happens after that?
    The deadline for submitting a letter of interest is March 2, 2012, at 5:00p.m. ET. All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Noyes Foundation’s on-line system. Letters of Interests will be reviewed and scored according to the criteria listed in the Request for Letters of Interest. Approximately 40 applicants will be invited to submit full proposals.
  1. What do I need to know about the full proposal stage before I submit a Letter of interest?
     Selected applicants will be invited to submit full proposals on March 26, 2012. At that time, reviewers will seek additional information regarding the applicant organization, its history of community organizing, the problems related to food and community wellness on which the applicant intends to work, the knowledge, experience and expertise of the Fellow candidate, available community resources, and additional information about the proposed initiative, budget and in-kind support.
     
    April 13, 2012 (3:00 p.m. ET) is the deadline for invited full proposals, which must be submitted through the Noyes Foundation’s on-line system.
  1. What happens if my full proposal is selected?

Up to 15 applicants will be selected for a site visit by an EAT4Health partner. The review team will conduct site visits at a time agreed upon by each applicant during the period May 7-18, 2012. Candidates for site visits will be informed of preparation and process requirements when notified of their selection.

The EAT4Health partners will recommend finalists for funding to the Noyes Foundation.  The Noyes Foundation will make all funding decisions. Finalists will be notified of award decisions by May 28, 2012. Awards for funded proposals will begin effective June 4, 2012. 

  1. Will Noyes Foundation provide feedback on my proposal?
    No. The Noyes Foundation is unable to provide feedback on individual proposals.However, The Praxis Project will provide ongoing technical assistance (TA) throughout the proposal process.
  1. How is the program administered?

The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation and its partner, The Praxis Project in Washington, DC, direct the program.

The Praxis Project coordinates the proposal-review process and will provide ongoing programmatic direction and assistance to EAT4Health CBOs and their Fellows.

  1. Should I participate in the applicant webinar information sessions?

Webinar sessions will give applicants an opportunity to ask questions. Participation in these sessions is not required. To register, please visit the website at www.EAT4Healthpartners.org and sign up for the web conference where indicated. Dial-in information and the agenda will be sent to registered participants by February 13, 2012. All webinar participants are strongly encouraged to carefully read the LOI application and FAQs prior to the call.

  1. What if I have urgent questions about this opportunity that are not addressed in the CFP or the FAQs?

Additional questions may be submitted by e-mail or telephone. Questions submitted by e-mail should reference "EAT4Health LOI" in the subject line. 

Programmatic questions about proposals or the proposal process should be submitted to info@eat4healthpartners.org with “EAT4Health Program question” in the subject line.  For urgent questions about the program, you may call (202) 234-5921 x105 to speak with Charlene Muhammad or one of the Praxis Project’s EAT4Health team members.  

  1. If I request help with the proposal process or submit questions, how long will it take for program staff to respond?

We will make every effort to respond to questions and requests for assistance within one business day. The FAQs will be updated on a regular basis during the proposal-development process. Technical questions related to the Noyes Foundation on-line grant proposal system should be submitted to Noyes@noyes.org with “GO technical question” in the subject line.  For urgent questions related to the Noyes Foundation on-line system, you may contact noyes@noyes.org .

Due to the large number of proposals we expect to receive, applicants are urged not to wait until the last week before the deadline to seek assistance, as it is highly unlikely that we will be able to respond to all such requests in a timely or effective manner.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to register online and familiarize themselves with the Noyes Foundation’s on-line grant application system early in the process, review the FAQs and FAQ updates in detail, and contact the appropriate person early with any questions or concerns. 

  1. Will EAT4Health release additional CFPs in the future?
    Because fundraising for this initiative is ongoing, initial support may only allow for a minimum of four CBO grantees.  The Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation is working to secure the funding for a second cohort of up to six grantees that will be selected from the strongest of the applicants who were not selected initially.

Eligibility back to top

1. Can two or more organizations submit a joint proposal?

EAT4Health is designed to support local, community-based organizing and policy advocacy groups with a successful track record of at least two years in community organizing and policy advocacy in low-income communities and communities of color.  As a result, new collaborations coming together with the sole purpose of applying for these funds will not have the track record of working together to meet this requirement.  However, coalitions with a centralized structure and track record of work that meets the organizing and policy advocacy requirements are eligible.  Grants will only be awarded to one entity and that institution will be solely responsible for meeting the requirements of the grant. 

These measures are designed to increase accountability and oversight mechanisms for the grant but are not meant to discourage coalition building, subcontractor relationships or other traditional mechanisms of building community support and partnerships for proposed policy initiatives.

2. How does EAT4Health define “a successful track record of at least two years in community organizing and policy advocacy”?

Applicants should be able to describe community organizing efforts where they have engaged community members to defend from attack, develop new, or change existing local, regional and/or state policies.  These policies should have helped address food and/or farm-related problems in low-income communities and communities of color.  Food- and/or farm-related problems are broadly defined to include efforts to decrease exposure to environmental threats, address overconcentration of fast food outlets or exposure to targeted marketing of unhealthy products, and promote access to healthy foods etc.  EAT4Health funds are not designed to support startup organizations or collaborations put together for the sole purpose of applying for funding.

3. What if my organization does not have the minimum organizing and policy advocacy experience required for EAT4Health but we would like to work on food issues?

There are other funding initiatives at the Foundation and by other grant makers to support community-based efforts around food and farm issues.  Please visit the Praxis Project Communities Creating Healthy Environments website at www.ccheonline.org for a listing of other funding opportunities.

4. Is an organization that is not classified as a 501(c)(3) allowed to apply and acquire an applicant ID number from the Noyes Foundation’s on-line grant system?

No. The organization applying must be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, a government entity or a tribal group recognized by the U.S. federal government, and must be based in the United States or its territories.

5. Are U.S. territories eligible for funding?

Yes, applicant organizations based in U.S. territories are eligible for funding, provided the organization meets eligibility criteria.

6. If an organization is currently receiving food industry funding that will end before the EAT4Health grant cycle begins, will they be considered eligible?

Yes.  Any funding that will end prior to the beginning of the EAT4Health grant will not be seen as a conflict.  However, any industry funding received (past or present) must be declared in the application where indicated.  Please contact us if you have any questions about a specific funding source.

7. Does the fellow need to live or work primarily in DC or would that person go to DC periodically to learn, share and train?

The fellow selected by community-based organizations should have a strong, long standing relationship with the organization and therefore live and work in the community that it serves. The fellow will spend 20% of their time at a D.C. based national advocacy organization to learn, share and train- approximately one week per month.

Proposal process back to top

  1. How does the proposal process work?

There are two stages in the competitive application process: (1) all applicants submit a letter of interest that describes the proposed project; and (2) invited applicants will be asked to submit a full proposal and line-item budget.

The letter of interest consists of a narrative of no more than four pages in length, plus a short biography and resume for the fellow candidate. Applicants invited to submit full proposals will be provided requirements by March 26, 2012.

All proposals must be submitted through the Noyes Foundation’s on-line grant application system, which contains specific instructions regarding application materials and the process for submitting a proposal. It is available at  https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_731/?SA=SNA&FID=35009

  1. How can I check the status of my proposal?
    Upon the successful submission of your proposal, you will receive confirmation  via e-mail from the Noyes Foundation’s on-line grant application site. Please ensure that you have received this confirmation of your proposal submission since it will be the only one provided.
  1. May I fax or e-mail a proposal?
    No. The proposal narrative and additional required documents for both brief and full proposals must be submitted through the Noyes Foundation’s on-line grant application system. If an organization does not have ready access to the internet, EAT4Health staff will help you submit it on-line provided arrangements are made at least three business days in advance of the submission deadline.  Information submitted by fax, e-mail or mail will not be reviewed or returned to the sender.
  1. May I submit other attachments to the proposal in addition to what is requested in the CFP?
    No. Supplemental information (e.g., maps, brochures, annual reports) should not be submitted and will not be reviewed or returned. Please submit only those documents that are required, as outlined in the Request for Letters of Interest and the Noyes Foundation’s on-line grant application system.
  1. What kind of letters of support are you expecting to see from the organization(s) involved in the proposed initiative?
    As part of the full proposal, we will request that applicants provide at least three (but no more than five) one-page letters of support.  These letters should, at a minimum, explain the relationship to the applicant and potential involvement in the project.  Cookie-cutter form letters will not be appreciated.  

Selection Process back to top

  1. What happens after the Letter of interest is submitted?
  2. The EAT4Health review team, which will consist of the Noyes Program Director and one or more other funding partners, several staff of The Praxis Project, and one or more social justice movement leaders will review letters of Interest.  The team will review LOIs using carefully developed rating criteria and will recommend which applicants to invite to submit full proposals.  For more information about how the LOIs will be rated please attend our LOI webinar session by registering at the EAT4Healthpartners website (link).
  1. What are the requirements for the full proposal stage?
    Applicants who are selected for the second stage of reviews will be contacted by March 26, 2012 and invited to submit a full proposal, including a detailed line item budget and budget narrative, as well as a writing sample from the Fellow nominee.
  1. Will more details about the full proposal process be available to selected applicants?
    Full proposal webinars will be held to provide guidance to applicants during the full proposal development process.  Participants will be notified of the schedule for these workshops when they receive their invitation to submit.
  1. What is the deadline for submitting full proposals?
    April 13, 2012 (3:00 p.m. ET) is the deadline for submitting full proposals through the Noyes Foundation’s on-line grant application system.
  1. What happens if my full proposal is selected?

Applicants selected to proceed to the final stage of reviews will be informed by [March 26, 2012].  The proposal review team will conduct site visits May 7-18, 2012 at a time agreed upon with each applicant. Candidates for site visits will be informed of preparation and process requirements when notified of their selection.

The EAT4Health Selection Committee will recommend finalists to the Noyes Foundation.  The Noyes Foundation will make funding decisions. Finalists will be notified of award decisions by May 28, 2012. Grant agreements must be signed and returned before any award checks are released.  

  1. What criteria will be used to evaluate proposals and make funding decisions?
    Multiple criteria will be used to make funding decisions, which are described in the "Selection Criteria" section and will be reviewed during a webinar for applicants.
  1. What kinds of initiatives will NOT be funded?
    Proposals to directly support service delivery and educational programs are not eligible for funding. Lobbying and voter registration will not be funded. Specific guidance on the types of proposals that will and will not be funded is provided in the "Funding Opportunities” section of the EAT4Health website.
  2.  Who has been funded in the past? Is there a list somewhere so we can have an idea of funding priorities?

    EAT4Health is a new initiative therefore there is no prior awards. For additional information on similar initiatives, please see www.noyes.org or www.ccheonline.org

  3. Are there word limits for each question on the on-line application?

       Yes. Each question has the word limit posted above the answer fill-in box.

Proposal content and process questions back to top

  1. How many rounds of funding will there be under EAT4Health?

There is only one round for applications though there may be up to two rounds of grant-making. Up to 10 grants will be awarded. The grants will be for up to $300,000 over a three-year period. 

  1. What type of policy issues should our organization focus on?

Policy projects may address a wide range of issues related to food and community wellness (defined as economic, environmental and public health). Please see the above for more specific examples.

  1. Does our organization need to identify our policy initiative in the proposal?

No.  Applicants are not required to specify policy objectives in their proposal if federal policy options are unfamiliar to them. However, they should be able to identify broad areas of federal policy that might facilitate or hinder goals for their local food and/or farm environment and, by extension, the overall well-being of their community.  EAT4Health staff will work with successful applicants to identify federal food policy foci that fit the needs of their local context. 

  1. Is a detailed budget required at the letter of interest stage?

No. At this stage, we only require the total amount of your organization’s annual budget.

  1. How much money is available to fund the community-based organization and can it be used for general operating support?

An annual grant award of $50,000 will be made to each selected CBO to be used for program support.  A portion of that amount, to be specified in the request for full proposals, can be applied to administrative and overhead costs. 

The awards are for up to $100,000 per site, with $50,000 for the CBO to build and align its advocacy capacity around a healthy food and farm agenda, $40,000 for the EAT4Health Fellow to develop their leadership and translate skills, strategy and relationships to and through the CBO, and $10,000 for contracting placement of the Fellow with a DC-area National Advocacy Organization.

  1. Can we use grant funds for capital projects?

No. Grant funds may not be used for land acquisition, capital expenditures, general operating expenses, existing deficits, direct medical care, or as a substitute for funds currently being used to support similar activities, or for lobbying or voter registration efforts.

  1. Can we use grant money to pay for equipment?

Yes. Equipment required to support the day-to-day activities of the initiative, such as a computer, copier or fax machine, are acceptable with adequate justification. Equipment that is donated for use as part of the initiative also may be considered as in-kind support. Noyes Foundation grant money cannot be used for any capital expenses, such as renovations, or for any major purchases, such as a vehicle.

  1. How detailed does the budget narrative need to be for the full proposal?

The budget narrative should be as detailed as possible. It should demonstrate that the proposed budget is consistent with the proposal's design and Noyes Foundation guidelines, and that the initiative is financially feasible and well conceived.

  1. Do we need to include technical assistance in our proposed budget?

No.  All grantees will receive training and technical assistance in shaping their work plans as part of their participation in the program.  

  1. Can we start our initiative before receiving an award?

Yes. However, Noyes Foundation dollars may not be used to reimburse for expenses incurred prior to the beginning of the grant award period. In addition, you may not announce your funding from the Noyes Foundation until the award period begins. Award announcements must be coordinated with the EAT4Health and Noyes Foundation staff.

Notification back to top

  1. How will we know if our Letter of interest and Full Proposal were successfully submitted and received?

After you hit the “submit” button, you will see an automated response indicating that your submission was successful.

  1. When will we be notified if we have been awarded a grant? When will funding begin?

Applicants will be notified at key times during the process (refer to the "Selection Process" section of the FAQs for key dates). The individual listed as the proposed contact person in the proposal will be the main point of contact during the LOI, full proposal, and grant award phases.  All grants are expected to begin on June 4, 2012.

  1. Will I receive specific comments on my proposal after a decision is made?
    No. The Noyes Foundation does not provide individual comments or critiques of proposals.

Grant Implementation back to top

  1. What is required of EAT4Health community-based organizations?

CBOs will be expected to meet the Noyes Foundation’s requirements for the submission of periodic financial and narrative reports.  At the close of the funding period, CBOs will be expected to provide a written report on the project and its findings for broad dissemination. As part of the grant deliverables, CBOs, Fellows and National Advocacy Organizations will be expected to participate in the third-party evaluation process.  This process will involve different people in a variety of processes, such as surveys, organizational assessment and focus groups. 

The EAT4Health fellow and a CBO representative will also be expected to participate in convening’s, trainings and other events for EAT4 Health.

  1. What type of technical assistance will CBOs receive?

Technical assistance and consultation will be provided to each of the CBO by the Everybody at the Table for Health partners. The Praxis Project will work with grantees to develop technical assistance plans and link CBOs to resources as appropriate.

FELLOWS back to top

1. What is the expected start date and duration of the EAT4Health fellowships?

EAT4Health grant awardees will be announced in June 2012. The EAT4Health fellows’ three-year program is expected to begin in July 2012 and end in June 2015.

2. Can the fellow candidate be a current employee, volunteer or community organizer? Can the fellow be the founder/director of the community-based organization?

The EAT4Health fellow candidate can be any member of your organization-employee, volunteer, board member or community organizer that has a direct relationship with your organization and two years of experience working in policy advocacy in the community that you serve.

3. If we are not yet sure of the fellow can we include information for two people?

No. All applications will be scored based on the criterion for one fellow candidate. Reviewers will not review more than one candidate.

4. What is the exact role of the fellow?

The ideal EAT4Health Fellows would be a seasoned grassroots leader who:

  • Is a member of the local community he/she serves;
  • Has been involved in local policy advocacy work on behalf of your organization or within the community under another capacity;
  • will take the lead on behalf of your organization’s proposed policy initiative and be able to articulate this to the national advocacy organization;
  • develop and share local policy advocacy initiative on the national level;
  • participate in a national network of EAT4Health Fellows; and
  • share resources learned and developed on the national level through the EAT4Health initiative with the community based organization he/she represents.

5. Can the fellow have previous federal advocacy experience?

Yes.

6. Are you looking for experienced fellows or developing staff, individuals taking their local and state experience to the national level?

Fellows must have at least two years of policy advocacy work on the local or state level. The EAT4Health fellowship will provide additional training and experience opportunities on the national level of policy advocacy.

Community Based Organizations back to top

1. Can the community-based organization work in multiple communities?

Yes.

2. Is this grant only funding policy work on the national level or can we apply for policy work on the county level?

EAT4Health grant will support your organization’s work at the local, county or state level and provide you with a platform to share your local policy work at the national level.

3. Is there a minimum operating budget, number of staff or size for the community-based organization?

No, however your organization must be able to articulate and demonstrate the fiscal and efficient communication ability to support the initiative.

4. If my organization is a state non-profit and will be applying for federal 501c3 status in the future, can we still apply?

Yes, however your organization must have its 501c3 status at the time of the grant award (June 2012).

National Advocacy Organizations back to top

1. What are the specific commitments for host organizations, and what kind of support will be directed to them?

A prequalified list of potential host sites will be created through a request for letters of intent process and application of criteria with the goal of providing a mix of experiences and capacities that will contribute to the overall success of the initiative by furthering two objectives:

1) offering a rich placement experience that deepens the Fellows’ understanding of the policymaking and advocacy process; and  

2) engaging an important advocacy organization in an explicit effort to build a more transparent, equitable and productive relationship between grassroots community-based organizations and national institutions.

EAT4Health will enable each CBO grantee to contract directly with pre-qualified advocacy organizations where they wish their Fellow to be placed.  The initiative will provide each CBO with up to $10,000 annually to pay for the services it contracts from the national advocacy organization. Through this arrangement the CBO Fellow will be assured clear terms for the best placement possible. The contracts between the CBOs and D.C.-based national advocacy organizations will include explicit commitments that the advocacy organization provide the CBO Fellow with:

1) A Peer-Mentor who is an experienced member of the organization’s policy team to serve as the EAT4Health Fellow’s peer mentor to:

o   meet with the Fellow weekly or more regularly (by email and phone when the Fellow is not in residency and in-person when she is);

o   spend several days touring the Fellow’s community, meeting constituents and leaders in  order to better understand the food challenges the Fellow must address and to learn about local and federal policies which have helped or hindered community health;

o   help guide and support the Fellow as they design and implement a modest yet impactful project that engages the strengths of the grassroots organization around a policy objective supported both by the CBO and national advocacy organization. Examples include: conducting a community-based focus group to test messages about food policy change; working with youth organizers to develop a train-the-trainers curriculum for youth leaders about food policy; bringing a delegation of community leaders to the DC area to meet with policy makers etc.).   

2) Adequate working space and basic office equipment including phone and internet connection.

3) Access to the food policy advocacy process via invitations to attend meetings, hearings, conferences and other events which would expose the Fellow to key decision makers, relevant research, food policy proposals, journalists and others active in the food policy debate.

4) Commitment to participate in the EAT4Health orientation call, kick-off retreat, annual meeting, key trainings and briefings and evaluation protocols.

 

2. How will EAT4Health measure the success of host organizations?

The evaluation of the national advocacy organizations will assess growth in their ability to understand the role of community organizations and to engage these organizations in their policy change efforts.

This will be assessed in two ways:  

  1. Peer mentors’ participation in a biannual focus group. The initiative’s evaluation consultant will develop a focus group protocol and conduct focus groups with the national advocacy organization’s peer mentors twice a year, once at month 6 of the initiative and again at month 12.  
  2. Executive directors’ (or designee’s) participation in an annual focus group. The focus groups will explore the influence of the EAT4Health initiative on their national advocacy organization.

3. What is the deadline for host sites?

National advocacy organizations interested in participating as a EAT4Health host site must submit their Letter of Interest (LOI) by March 26, 2012.