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HIP Eligible Food Guidelines

Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) eligible food guidelines.

Information about the types of fruit and vegetable purchases that can earn HIP incentives. 

Table of Contents

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Farmers' Market Vegetables

General Guidelines for HIP Purchases

The following fruits and vegetables are eligible for HIP incentives when a Massachusetts SNAP recipient uses their SNAP benefits to buy them from a participating retailer:

Any variety of fresh fruits and vegetables (whole or cut) without added salts, sugars, fats, or oils. 1

Any variety of canned,2dried or frozen fruits and vegetables without added salts, sugars, fats, or oils.3

Notes

*The types of fruits and vegetables incentivized in this program include a preference for all locally grown fruits and vegetables at the four points of sale. These qualifying fruits and vegetables are considered SNAP staple foods in the fruit and vegetable staple food group.

Staple foods do not include accessory foods such as coffee, tea, cocoa, vinegars, carbonated and non- carbonated drinks, candy, condiments and spices.

1Products that are considered accessory foods, as well as multiple ingredient foods that are not primarily composed of qualifying fruits and vegetables, are NOT HIP eligible foods. Examples of these include: spices, ornamental and decorative fruits and vegetables, gourds, painted pumpkins, items such as blueberry muffins and other baked goods, infant food in fruit and vegetable variety, and fruit and vegetable juices.

2“Canned” refers to processed food items in cans or other shelf-stable containers, e.g., jars, pouches. Small amounts of sugar are added to some foods that are naturally sugar containing, during the canning process to maintain the integrity of the vegetable (sweet peas and corn) and are allowed.

3Also excludes ketchup or other condiments, olives, honey and maple syrup.

Examples of HIP Eligible Fruits and Vegetables (without added salt, sugar, fat or oil)

 

  • All fresh fruits and vegetables, whole or cut
  • SNAP eligible seeds and plants intended for cultivation and consumption (e.g., tomato seeds or tomato plants)
  • White potatoes
  • Dried beans
  • Herbs (fresh)
  • Mushrooms
  • Nuts
  • Garlic, onions, scallions
  • Tomatoes: diced, pureed, paste, sauce, whole
  • Applesauce
  • Pickled vegetables or fruits without vinegars (e.g., includes sauerkraut, lacto-fermented products, and pickles)

Examples of HIP Non-Eligible Fruits and Vegetables

  • Ketchup or other condiments
  • Olives
  • Dried herbs and spices
  • Fruit and vegetable juices, apple cider, smoothies
  • Ornamental and decorative fruits and vegetables; gourds; painted pumpkins; non-sugar pumpkins, fruit baskets
  • Foods that come in baskets, ceramic or decorative containers
  • Creamed or sauced vegetables
  • Vegetable-grain (pasta or rice) mixtures
  • Breaded vegetables
  • Items such as blueberry muffins and other baked goods

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can foods other than fruits and vegetables be purchased with the HIP earned incentive?

A. Any eligible SNAP foods can be purchased with the incentive earned from purchasing approved HIP fruits and vegetables. For example, a HIP incentive is not earned when purchasing spices, however, spices may be purchased with the earned HIP benefit.

Q. What are HIP (FINI) qualifying fruits and vegetables?

A. The definition of HIP (FINI) qualifying fruits and vegetables includes any variety of fresh, canned, dried, or frozen whole or cut fruits and vegetables without added sugars, fats, or oils, and salt (i.e. sodium). If sugars, fats, oils, or salts are present as a listed ingredient on the product’s nutrition label, then that product is generally not considered a HIP (FINI) qualifying fruit or vegetable.

Q. Where can I find more information on HIP?

A. See mass.gov/hip for more information and to find participating retailers.

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