The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Information on the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) for MA SNAP recipients coming soon!

Some upbeat news!

We did not have a chance at yesterday's SNAP Coalition meeting to update folks on the great work being done by DTA and community orgs to launch a Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) in Massachusetts. HIP Project Director Frank Martinez-Nocito of DTA sent on the following information to be shared describing the project to boost the food resources for SNAP recipients. 

News Flash:  Abby Getman - formerly of the Food Bank of Western M - is now the DTA HIP Retailer and Client coordinator!   Congrats Abby. DTA is so lucky to have you!  There are also 5 Regional Partners around the state - Project Bread, Food Bank of Western MA, Worcester Co Food Bank, Merrimack Valley Food Bank and Greater Boston Food Bank - hoping to engage you in client outreach and advisory work.  Please contact Abby if you want to be involved and connected with a regional partner.

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The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) will match SNAP recipients’ purchases of local fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). This means:

    • More fresh, healthy, local food for hundreds of thousands of families receiving SNAP benefits who will receive a dollar-for-dollar match, up to a monthly cap, based on household size, on those purchases so they can buy more food.

    • More sales for local farmers, better enabling them to reinvest that money in their local communities, steward their land, and protect natural resources.

  • Families will need to SPEND SNAP dollars on local fruits and vegetables to EARN HIP incentives.

  • Households of 1-2 people will be able to earn up to $40 in incentives each month; 3-5 person households, $60; and households with 6 or more people, $80.

  • It’s easy to earn the incentives 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.

  • HIP benefits will be available to SNAP families statewide, beginning April 1, 2017 for a three-year period under the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program. 

  • HIP will provide approximately $1.25 million in direct incentives to SNAP clients over three years and will be available to over 447,000 SNAP families in Massachusetts (1 in 9 MA residents) to purchase fruits and vegetables.

  • The primary barrier to accessing fresh fruits and vegetables for low-income families is affordability (also location and quality). HIP focuses on addressing these issues.

  • SNAP recipients spent an estimated $380,000 at these four sub-groups of retailers in 2015, a fraction of the $1.1 billion total SNAP benefits redeemed at retailers in Massachusetts last year.

  • DTA will manage the program, as part of an interdepartmental effort with the Departments of Agricultural Resources (DAR) and Public Health (DPH).

For more information, please contact:

Frank Martinez Nocito, Project Director: frank.martineznocito@state.ma.us or 413-772-3411

Abby Getman, HIP Retailer & Client Coordinator: abby.getman@state.ma.us or 413-772-3449


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