(a) Requirements. By November 15 of each year, each applying or participating State agency shall submit to FNS for approval a State Plan for the following year as a prerequisite to receiving funds under this section. If the State agency administers both the SFMNP and the FMNP, one consolidated State Plan may be submitted for both programs, in accordance with guidance provided by FNS. The State Plan must be signed by the State-designated official responsible for ensuring that the Program is operated in accordance with the State Plan. FNS will provide written approval or denial of a completed State Plan or amendment within 30 days of receipt. Portions of the State Plan that do not change annually need not be resubmitted. However, the State agency shall provide the title of the sections that remain unchanged, as well as the year of the last Plan in which the sections were submitted. At a minimum, the Plan must include the following items, which must include sufficient detail to demonstrate the State agency's ability to meet the requirements of the SFMNP:
(1) A copy of the agreement between the designated administering State agency and any other cooperating State, local, or nonprofit agencies or organizations for services such as certification of eligible participants, issuance of SFMNP coupons or benefits, and/or nutrition education, as required in § 249.3(d).
(2) A description of the State agency's procedures for identifying and certifying eligible SFMNP participants, including the specific age and income criteria that will be used to determine SFMNP eligibility.
(3) An estimated number of participants for the fiscal year, and proposed months of operation.
(4) A detailed budget for the SFMNP, including:
(i) The minimum amount necessary to operate the SFMNP;
(ii) A description of the Federal and non-Federal funds that will be used to operate the Program; and
(iii) An assurance that no more than 50 percent of the Federal SFMNP grant will be used to support a CSA program model for the delivery of SFMNP benefits.
(5) An outline of administrative staff and job descriptions.
(6) A detailed description of the SFMNP recordkeeping system including, but not limited to, the system for maintaining separate records for SFMNP funds pertaining to financial operations, coupon issuance and redemption, authorization of farmers, markets, and/or CSA programs, distribution of eligible foods through CSA programs, and SFMNP participation.
(7) A detailed description of the State agency's financial management system, including how the system will provide accurate, current and complete disclosure of the program's financial status and required reports.
(8) A detailed description of the service area, including:
(i) The number and addresses of authorized farmers, farmers' markets, roadside stands, and community supported agriculture programs that participated in the SFMNP during the prior year; and
(ii) SFMNP certification/issuance sites (such as senior centers or senior housing facilities), including a map outlining the service area and proximity of markets, roadside stands, and/or community supported agriculture programs to certification/issuance or distribution sites that participated in the SFMNP during the prior year.
(9) A description of the coupon issuance system including:
(i) A description of how the State agency will target areas with the highest concentrations of eligible persons and greatest access to farmers' markets and/or roadside stands;
(ii) The benefit level per participant, or household if benefits are issued on a household basis, including:
(A) How coupons will be issued;
(B) The value of benefits provided to each participant or household at each issuance during the year;
(C) The frequency of coupon issuance; and
(D) The total amount of SFMNP benefits issued to each participant or household during the year.
(iii) A method for instructing participants on the proper use of SFMNP coupons and the purpose of the SFMNP;
(iv) A method for ensuring that SFMNP coupons are issued only to eligible participants; and
(v) A method for preventing and identifying dual participation, in accordance with § 249.6(d)(1).
(10) If the agency is using a “paperless” system, i.e., a system that does not issue actual coupons, a complete description of how such a system will be operated in a manner that ensures the integrity of SFMNP funds and benefits.
(11) A detailed description of the SFMNP coupon redemption process including:
(i) The procedures for ensuring the secure transportation and storage of SFMNP coupons;
(ii) A system for identifying and reconciling SFMNP coupons; and
(iii) The timeframes for SFMNP coupon redemption by participants, submission for payment by farmers or authorized outlets (farmers' markets and/or roadside stands), and payment by the State agency.
(12) A description of the State agency's CSA program, if applicable, including:
(i) How the State agency will target and select community supported agriculture programs designed to provide SFMNP benefits to eligible participants;
(ii) The annual benefit amount per participant or household, if benefits are issued on a household basis;
(iii) How CSA program contracts are developed, negotiated, and executed by the State agency;
(iv) How CSA program shares are allocated to eligible SFMNP participants;
(v) A method for instructing participants and farmers participating in the CSA program on the purpose of the SFMNP, and the procedures for delivery and distribution of eligible foods provided for the SFMNP through the CSA;
(vi) A system to ensure receipt by eligible participants of eligible foods provided through a CSA program. Such a system should include a written receipt or distribution log, with the participant's signature (or that of the eligible participant's proxy, if proxies are allowed) and the date of each distribution;
(vii) The payment procedures for the CSA program(s) used by the State agency;
(viii) How the State agency ensures that the full value of eligible foods for which it has contracted is provided regularly throughout the SFMNP season;
(ix) A listing of delivery dates and distribution sites for CSA program-provided eligible foods; and
(x) A system for ensuring that each SFMNP shareholder receives an equitable amount of eligible foods at each delivery, and that the total value of the eligible foods provided under the SFMNP falls within the minimum and maximum Federal SFMNP benefit levels, as specified in § 249.8(b).
(13) A complete description of age- and circumstance-appropriate nutrition education to be provided to SFMNP participants, including:
(i) The agencies that will provide the nutrition education;
(ii) The format(s) in which the nutrition education will be provided; and
(iii) The locations where nutrition education is likely to be provided.
(14) A detailed description of the State agency's system for managing its coupon, market, and CSA program management systems, including:
(i) The criteria for authorizing farmers' markets, roadside stands, and/or community supported agriculture programs, including the agency responsible for authorization;
(ii) The procedures for training farmers, market managers, and/or CSA program farmers at authorization, and annually thereafter;
(iii) The procedures for monitoring farmers' markets, roadside stands, and/or community supported agriculture programs;
(iv) A description of the State agency's system for identifying high-risk farmers and farmers' markets, roadside stands, and/or community supported agriculture programs, as set forth at § 249.10(e)(2)(ii);
(v) The procedures for sanctioning farmers, farmers' markets, roadside stands, and/or community supported agriculture programs;
(vi) A facsimile of the SFMNP coupon, including the denominations of coupons that will be issued, and a clear indication of where the participant/proxy and (if applicable) farmer are required to sign, stamp, or otherwise endorse the coupon before it can be redeemed;
(vii) A complete listing of the fresh, nutritious, unprepared fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs eligible for purchase under the SFMNP;
(viii) A description of SFMNP coupon replacement policy or statement that coupons will not be replaced; and
(ix) The State agency's procedures for handling participant and farmer/farmers' market, roadside stands, and CSA program complaints.
(15) A system for ensuring that SFMNP coupons are redeemed only by authorized farmers/farmers' markets/roadside stands, and only for eligible foods.
(16) A system for identifying SFMNP coupons that are redeemed or submitted for payment outside valid dates or by unauthorized farmers/farmers' markets/roadside stands.
(17) A copy of the written agreement to be used between the State agency and authorized farmers/farmers' markets, roadside stands, and/or CSA programs. In those States that authorize farmers' markets, but not individual farmers, this agreement shall specify in detail the role of and procedures to be used by farmers' markets for monitoring and sanctioning farmers, and the appropriate procedures to be used by a farmer to appeal a sanction or disqualification imposed by a farmers' market.
(18) If available, information on the change in consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs by SFMNP participants. This information shall be submitted as an addendum to the State Plan and shall be submitted at a date specified by the Secretary.
(19) If available, information on the effects of the program on farmers' markets, roadside stands, and/or CSA programs. This information shall be submitted as an addendum to the State Plan and shall be submitted at a date specified by the Secretary.
(20) A description of the procedures the State agency will use to comply with the civil rights requirements described in § 249.7(a), including the processing of discrimination complaints.
(21) A copy of the State agency's fair hearing procedures for SFMNP participants and the administrative appeal procedures for local agencies, farmers, farmers' markets, roadside stands, and/or CSA programs.
(22) State agencies that have not previously participated in the SFMNP must provide:
(i) A description of the need for the SFMNP in that State agency;
(ii) The specific goals and objectives of the SFMNP, designed to fulfill the purpose of the Program as set forth in § 249.1; and
(iii) A capability statement that includes a summary description of any prior experience with farmers' market projects or programs, including information and data describing the attributes of such projects or programs.
(23) For State agencies making expansion requests, documentation that demonstrates:
(i) The need for an increase in funding;
(ii) That the use of the increased funding will be consistent with serving eligible SFMNP participants by expanding benefits to more persons, by enhancing current benefits, or a combination of both, and expanding the awareness and use of farmers' markets, roadside stands, and CSA programs;
(iii) The ability of the State agency to operate the existing SFMNP satisfactorily;
(iv) The management capabilities of the State agency to expand; and
(v) Whether, in the case of a State agency that intends to use the funding to increase the value of the Federal benefits received by a participant, the funding provided will increase the rate of coupon redemption.
(b) Amendments. At any time after approval, the State agency may amend the State Plan to reflect changes. The State agency shall submit such amendments to FNS for approval. The proposed amendments shall be signed by the State-designated official responsible for ensuring that the SFMNP is operated in accordance with the State Plan. The amendments must be approved by FNS prior to implementation.
(c) Retention of copy. A copy of the approved State Plan shall be kept on file at the State agency for public inspection.