- Beginning April 1, 2017, for a three year period, the Massachusetts’ Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) will match SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly food stamps) recipients’ purchases of local fruits and vegetables at participating:
- Farmers markets
- Farm stands
- Mobile markets
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share programs
SNAP recipients will receive an instant, dollar-for-dollar match credited to their EBT card on eligible purchases. HIP can only be earned through participating HIP locations and using SNAP/EBT terminals that have been programmed to process the new benefit.
It is easy to earn the incentive and funds are immediately added to SNAP recipients’ EBT cards. The earned incentives can be used right away, or saved for a future purchase at any SNAP retailer on any SNAP eligible foods. SNAP customers should look for the Healthy Incentives Program logo at participating retailers. Find a HIP retailer nearest you by visiting MassGrown .
The HIP incentive benefit has a monthly cap based on household size. SNAP households will need to spend SNAP dollars on fruits and vegetables at one of the four main points of sale to earn the HIP incentive. HIP benefits are earned when SNAP recipients swipe their SNAP/EBT card for fruit and vegetable purchases, or when they enroll with a CSA farm to participate in the CSA farm share Pilot.
Household Size HIP Monthly Cap 1-2 persons $40 3-5 persons $60 6+ persons $80
The Departments of Transitional Assistance (DTA), Agricultural Resources (DAR) and Public Health (DPH) are working in a coordinated statewide effort with hundreds of farmers, farmers markets, and community partners to provide greater access to local fruits and vegetables.
Three of the overall goals of the HIP initiative include to:
- Reduce barriers to participation in the new benefit for both SNAP clients and retailers;
- Increase the availability of locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP clients; and
- Make it easier for SNAP retailers to process both SNAP and the new HIP benefit.
If you are a SNAP recipient and want more information on HIP, a list of retailers where you can earn the extra benefit or if you have any questions please call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline: 1-800-645-8333. To find a HIP retailer nearest you can visit the MassGrown website. You can also email us at: DTA.HIP@state.ma.us.
If you are interested in becoming a SNAP retailer (or are currently), and have questions about HIP, please contact the HIP Retailer Call-Line: 1-888-987-4487, Monday to Friday between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. or email us at: DTA.HIP@state.ma.us.