• What is the Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP)?

    The Healthy Incentives Pilot (HIP) is a partnership between DTA and the United States Department of Agriculture Food Nutrition Service (USDA/FNS), and is the only one of its kind in the country. The primary goal of HIP is to test whether providing a financial incentive to SNAP households will encourage them to purchase more healthy fruits and vegetables. The pilot launched on November 1, 2011 and ended on December 31, 2012. HIP households received the benefit for 12 months.

    How did HIP work?

    7,500 SNAP households in Hampden County, MA were randomly selected to be HIP participants. They earned a financial incentive (30 cents on each SNAP dollar spent) each time they purchased HIP target fruits and vegetables at a participating HIP retailer using their SNAP benefits. HIP target foods are fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables without added sugar, salt, fats or oils with some exceptions. The incentive was added immediately to the participant’s SNAP EBT card and could be used on any future SNAP purchase. A participant could earn up to $60 in HIP benefits per month by buying HIP target fruits and vegetables.

    Why are fruits and vegetables important?

    HIP wants people to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables each day because eating them lowers your chances of getting heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and some kinds of cancer. It also helps people maintain a healthy weight. The more fruits and vegetables a family eats, the healthier they will be. To find recipes on how to cook fruits and vegetables, visit e following USDA website: www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov. Please also visit USDA's HIP website at: www.fns.usda.gov/healthy-incentives-pilot-hip-interim-report.

    If you have any questions about HIP please call the DTA HIP call-line: 1-888-987-4487, Monday to Friday between 9:00 A.M. and 5:00 P.M. You can also email us at: DTA.HIP@state.ma.us.

    This information is provided by the Department of Transitional Assistance