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 additional nutrition benefit and is available on a seasonal basis depending on the amount of state appropriations. As this book goes to print in January 2019, HIP is still available at winter farmers markets!
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 does HIP qoek? 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;
- and $80/month for households of 6 or more
Even if you receive only $15 in monthly SNAP benefits as a 1 or 2 person household, you can still get $40/month in HIP benefits.
For 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.
For more information about HIP and a list of participating farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and CSAs: