The Nutrition Services Incentive Program (NSIP) was established by the Older Americans Act (Section 311) in 1974 as the Nutrition Program for the Elderly in the United States Department of Agriculture [USDA (for commodities only, and in 1977 for commodities or cash)]. NSIP was transferred to the Administration on Aging in 2003. NSIP provides additional funding to states, territories, and eligible tribal organizations, which is used exclusively to purchase food, and may not be used to pay for other nutrition-related services or for state or local administrative costs. States may choose to receive the grant as cash, commodities or a combination of cash and commodities. For a number of years, all area agencies on aging in NYS have chosen to receive cash grants under this program.
Grants to area agencies (reimbursement) are based on the number of eligible meals provided to eligible recipients. Meals must meet the requirements of the OAA and must be served to eligible participants as identified by the OAA. This requirement extends to the restaurant voucher option. In addition, if participants have been charged a fee or made to pay for a meal(s), those meals may not be claimed for reimbursement. The Reporting Unit at NYSOFA conducts the federally-required meal count verification annually. This process is extremely important and must be completed accurately because the total meal count determines the overall federal grant to NYS. Should an area agency on aging file inaccurate information, the federal government can seek reimbursement of overpayments.
Section 311 a
(a) The purpose of this section is to provide incentives to encourage and reward effective performance by States and tribal organizations in the efficient delivery of nutritious meals to older individuals.
Section 311 b
(b)(1) The Secretary shall allot and provide, in accordance with this section, to or on behalf of each State agency with a plan approved under this title for a fiscal year, and to or on behalf of each grantee with an application approved under title VI for such fiscal year, an amount bearing the same ratio to the total amount appropriated for such fiscal year under subsection (e) as the number of meals served in the State under such plan approved for the preceding fiscal year (or the number of meals served by the title VI grantee, under such application approved for such preceding fiscal year), bears to the total number of such meals served in all States and by all title VI grantees under all such plans and applications approved for such preceding fiscal year.
(2) For purposes of paragraph (1), in the case of a grantee that has an application approved under title VI for a fiscal year but that did not receive assistance under this section for the preceding fiscal year, the number of meals served by the title VI grantee for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed to equal the number of meals that the Assistant Secretary estimates will be served by the title VI grantee in the fiscal year for which the application was approved.
Section 311 c
(c)(1) Agricultural commodities (including bonus commodities) and products purchased by the Secretary of Agriculture under section 32 of the Act of August 24, 1935 (7 U.S.C. 612c), shall be donated to a recipient of a grant or contract to be used for providing nutrition services in accordance with the provisions of this title.
(2) The Commodities Credit Corporation shall dispose of food commodities (including bonus commodities) under section 416 of the Agricultural Act of 1949 (7 U.S.C. 1431) by donating them to a recipient of a grant or contract to be used for providing nutrition services in accordance with the provisions of this title.
(3) Dairy products (including bonus commodities) purchased by the Secretary of Agriculture under section 709 of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1965 (7 U.S.C. 1446a-1) shall be used to meet the requirements of programs providing nutrition services in accordance with the provisions of this title.
(4) Among the commodities provided under this subsection, the Secretary of Agriculture shall give special emphasis to foods of high nutritional value to support the health of older individuals. The Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Assistant Secretary, is authorized to prescribe the terms and conditions respecting the provision of commodities under this subsection.
Section 311 d
(d) (1) Each State agency and each title VI grantee shall be entitled to use all or any part of amounts allotted under subsection (b) to obtain from the Secretary of Agriculture commodities available through any food program of the Department of Agriculture at the rates at which such commodities are valued for purposes of such program.
(2) The Secretary of Agriculture shall determine and report to the Secretary, by such date as the Secretary may require, the amount (if any( of its allotment under subsection (b) which each State agency and title VI grantee has elected to receive in the form of commodities. Such amount shall include an amount bearing the same ratio to the costs to the Secretary of Agriculture of providing such commodities under this subsection as the value of commodities received by such State agency or title VI grantee under this subsection bears to the total value of commodities so received.
(3) From the allotment under subsection (b) for each State agency and title VI grantee, the Secretary shall first reimburse the Secretary of Agriculture for costs of commodities received by such State agency or grantee under this subsection, and shall then pay the balance (if any) to such State agency or grantee. Amounts received by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to this section to make commodities purchases for a fiscal year that are not expended for such fiscal year may be carried over to the next fiscal year to make commodities purchases pursuant to this section.
(4) Each State agency and title VI grantee shall promptly and equitably disburse amounts received under this subsection to recipients of grants and contracts. Such disbursements shall only be used by such recipients of grants or contracts to purchase domestically produced foods for their nutrition projects.
(5) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize the Secretary or the Assistant Secretary to require any State agency or title VI grantee to elect to received cash payments under this subsection.
Section 311 e
(e) There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section (other than subsection (c)(1)) such sums as may be necessary for fiscal year 2007 and such sums as may be necessary for each of the 4 succeeding fiscal years.
Section 311 f
(f) In each fiscal year, the Secretary and the Secretary of Agriculture shall jointly disseminate to State agencies, area agencies on aging, and providers of nutrition services assisted under this title, information concerning the foods available to such State agencies, area agencies on aging, and provider under subsection (c). (42 U.S.C. 3030a)