Healthy Incentives Program
What is HIP?
The Healthy Incentives Program, or HIP, can help you buy more locally grown fruits and vegetables. When you buy fruits and vegetables with SNAP at participating farmers’ markets, mobile markets, farm stands or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share programs, you will earn extra money on your SNAP/EBT card.
How does HIP work?
SNAP (formerly Food Stamp) dollars spent on eligible fruits and vegetables at participating farmers’ markets, mobile markets, farm stands and CSA farm share programs to earn HIP up to a maximum monthly benefit based on the size of your household. You will need to spend SNAP on fruits and vegetables to earn HIP. The benefit is added directly back to your SNAP/EBT card and can be used towards any future SNAP eligible purchase.
What is the maximum HIP benefit I can earn each month?
Depending on the size of your household, you can earn up to an additional:
- $40 for 1-2 member households
- $60 for 3-5 member households
- $80 for 6+ member households
per month on top of your regular monthly benefits.
Where can I earn HIP benefits?
You can earn HIP by shopping at participating farmers markets, mobile markets, farm stands and CSA farm share programs throughout the state, and buying HIP eligible fruits and vegetables. HIP benefits cannot be earned at other food stores such as supermarkets, convenience stores, or bodegas, however you can spend your earned HIP benefit at these locations on any future SNAP purchase. Availability of HIP at farmers’ markets and farm stands is currently limited, but will be expanding soon—check MassGrown’s HIP map often or call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333 to find farmers’ markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and CSAs near you that can currently process HIP. Look for the HIP logo when shopping at participating farmers’ markets!
What are HIP eligible fruits and vegetables?
HIP eligible foods are fresh, canned, dried and frozen fruits and vegetables without added sugar, salt, fats or oils. For example, onions, pears, broccoli, fresh herbs, canned tomatoes, applesauce, frozen berries, and dried mushrooms, are all HIP foods. Food items that do not qualify include vegetable and fruit juices (including apple cider), creamed or sauced vegetables, dried spices and herbs. Vegetable seeds and starter plants for your garden (e.g., tomato seeds or tomato plants) are also eligible for HIP.
How do HIP eligible foods help me and my family?
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, without added sugar, salt, fats or oils every day helps to keep you healthy! Eating more HIP eligible fruits and vegetables every day lowers your chances of getting heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and some kinds of cancer. It also helps to maintain a healthy weight. The more fruits and vegetables a family eats, the healthier they will be!
Can I buy foods other than fruits and vegetables with my earned HIP incentive?
Yes, the earned HIP incentive can be spent on any SNAP eligible foods. It can be used right away, or saved for a future purchase at any retailer that accepts SNAP.
How do I keep track of my HIP benefit balance?
The HIP benefit is added directly and immediately to your SNAP/EBT card when you buy HIP eligible fruits and vegetables at a participating farmers’ market, mobile market, farm stand or CSA farm share program. Your receipt will show your SNAP account balance, the HIP incentive earned for that purchase, as well as the total HIP incentive you have earned that month. You may also call the number on the back of your EBT card (1-800-997-2555) to check your SNAP or HIP balance.
Who should I contact if I have any problems using my SNAP/EBT card for HIP?
For questions or concerns regarding your EBT card call 1-800-997-2555, the number on the back of your card.
Who do I call if I have questions about HIP?
For questions about how HIP works or where you can use your HIP benefit please call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. More information about the program can be found online at: mass.gov/hip. You may also email us at DTA.HIP@state.ma.us.