87. What is the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) at farmers markets?
Massachusetts started the Healthy Incentives Program or “HIP’ to help SNAP recipients buy fresh local fruits and vegetables from participating Massachusetts farmers. HIP is a state-funded nutrition benefit and is available year-round -- depending on the amount of state appropriations.
HIP matches SNAP recipients’ purchases of local fruits and vegetables at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and CSA (community sustained agriculture) farm share programs. HIP helps thousands of families afford fresh, healthy, local food.
How HIP works
If you make purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables with participating farmers (HIP retailers), you get $1 for $1 of SNAP benefits right back on your EBT card, up to the amount listed below:
- $40/month for households of 1-2 people
- $60/month for households of 3-5 people;
- and $80/month for households of 6 or more
Even if you receive only $23 in the minimum monthly SNAP benefits as a 1 or 2 person household, you can still get $40/month in HIP benefits.
Example, if you spend $10 on vegetables, you immediately get $10 back in SNAP. If then spend $20 with an eligible farmer, you get another $20. You can spend SNAP with HIP retailers as often as you want until you’ve earned the full amount of monthly HIP.
Note: HIP benefits do not accumulate month to month. For example, you can access the HIP amount from June 1 through 30th, but it does not roll over to the next month.
For more information about HIP and a list of participating markets: