Introducing the FDA-NEHA Retail Flexible Funding Model Grant Program

The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are pleased to announce the new Retail Flexible Funding Model (RFFM) Grant Program, opening for the first time in fall 2021. The program will provide funding to state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) retail food regulatory agencies as they advance conformance with the Voluntary National Retail Food Regulatory Program Standards (VNRFRPS) or Retail Program Standards. FDA will utilize NEHA’s strengths to assist SLTT retail food programs in their efforts to reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors and implement and attain conformance with the Retail Program Standards.

What Is New and Improved?

Jurisdictions that apply for funding through the NEHA-FDA RFFM Grant Program can expect enhanced technical assistance. Applicants can expect simple applications and reporting, clear grant guidance, and a responsive technical assistance team standing by to assist applicants and grantees via phone or email.

New enhancements to the NEHA-FDA RFFM Grant Program include:

  • A new level of simplicity, with elements of all three of the past retail funding programs—modest grants, large multiyear awards, and mentorship funding—all administered by NEHA and through one application portal.
  • The addition of a NEHA Retail Subject Matter Expert (SME) Team that possesses decades of retail experience at the local, state, and federal levels. Our team is ready to advise and assist you as you work to conform to the Retail Program Standards. This support will be available to you through the entire life cycle of the grant process.
  • Significantly larger and multiyear funding for jurisdictions with ambitious goals to advance your conformance with the retail program standards.
  • Add-on Special Project and Capacity Building Grants of up to $100,000 per year, designed to support SLTT- or collaboration-led projects that will support and advance conformance with the Retail Program Standards regionally or nationally.

A slide showing three circles on the left: Reduce the occurrence of foodborne illness risk factors, Move towards full conformance with the Retail Standards, and Fully leverage SLTT's. An arrow leaving these circles, labeled "FDA funding through an association", leads to words "Awards to SLTT's" A Graphic showing that Base Funding Includes funding for Development and Maintenance & Advancement, while Optional Add Ons are Mentorship, Training/Staff Development, Capacity Building, and Special Projects


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Retail Flexible Funding Model (RFFM)?

As presented above, the NEHA-FDA RFFM is the new method to apply for and receive Retail Program Standards grant funding. The program will be entirely administered by NEHA. There will be multiple subaward pathways for which jurisdictions may request funding, each with their own requirements. Optional grant add-ons will be available for mentorship, training, capacity building, and special projects. Complete details will be posted on this webpage in the coming weeks. Sign up for email updates below to have information delivered straight to your inbox.

My jurisdiction has received Retail Program Standards grant funding in the past. What is changing?

FDA recently awarded NEHA with a 3-year cooperative agreement that will administer financial assistance to SLTT retail regulatory food programs based on the FDA's retail flexible funding model. Beginning in fall 2021, NEHA will administer all new subaward applications for retail grants. 

My jurisdiction still has an active Retail Program Standards grant. What do I need to complete to receive our funding? 

Any previous grant awards are subject to the original terms and conditions of the granting organization. You should continue to work with the original granting organization to close out any current awards. NEHA will open a portal for applications for this new program in fall 2021.Please reach out to us if you have further questions at

How many awards will be available? How much funding can I apply for?

Details on the numbers, types, and funding amounts will be posted in the coming weeks on this webpage as well as through email and social media channels.

Will the application process be easy?

Our team is dedicated to keeping the burdens of application submission, grant management, and financial reporting as low as possible. Our online, web-based platform is designed for users of any skill level. Additionally, we will have a dedicated phone number and email address to reach a live team of experienced grant managers who are eager to provide unparalleled support. Please remember you have access to our retail expert team to support you through the life cycle of the grant.

Will I need a new login to access the application portal? 

Yes. As the RFFM is an entirely new Retail Program Standards funding program, applicants will need to create a new account to apply.

What are the biggest changes from how these opportunities were previously administered and how the new RFFM will be administered?

In the past, FDA provided pass-through funding through several different partners. With the new RFFM, applicants need only to visit to apply for funding. Beginning this fall, NEHA will provide the oversight and management for all new Retail Program Standards grants. 

When will the portal to apply for these grants be open?

Details on the application window will be provided on this webpage in the coming weeks. You may also enter your email address below to receive program updates.

Sign Up for Email Updates

If you would like to receive news and updates when new information is available, please register your email address below.

What Is Next?

Please bookmark this page,, as it will always contain the most up-to-date information about the grant program.

Have Questions? We’re Here to Support!

For more information, contact:

NEHA-FDA Retail Flexible Funding Model Grant Program Support Team

(833) 575-2404 (toll free)