Healthy Incentives Program
HIP runs all year long!
Earn HIP this winter by joining a winter CSA, visiting a year round farm stand, or shopping at a winter farmers’ market!
Click here for more information on places you can earn HIP this winter, or select “Farmers’ Markets – Winter” from the Location Types menu on the map below.
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.
If you have questions about HIP that are not covered below, or need assistance in another language, call the Project Bread Food Access Hotline at 1-800-645-8333.
How does HIP work?
SNAP (formerly Food Stamp) dollars spent on eligible fruits and vegetables will earn HIP up to a maximum monthly benefit based on the size of your household. You must buy from participating farms to earn HIP – you can not earn HIP by shopping at a grocery store. 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?
What foods can I buy to earn HIP?
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. Vegetable seeds and starter plants for your garden (e.g., tomato seeds or tomato plants) are also eligible for HIP. Food items that do not qualify include vegetable and fruit juices (including apple cider), creamed or sauced vegetables, dried spices and herbs. You can find a full list of HIP-eligible foods here.
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.
What happens to my HIP benefits if I don’t use them?
Any SNAP dollars you’ve earned through HIP will roll over from month to month, same as all SNAP benefits. However, potential benefits you have not earned yet do not carry over between months.
For example, if a family of four (whose maximum potential benefit each month would be $60) only buys $40 worth of local produce at a farmers’ market or farm stand in a given month, they lose out on that last $20 they could have earned with HIP.
At the top of my receipt, it says “HIP Earned Month to Date.” Is that how much SNAP money I have left to spend?
No – it’s keeping track of how much of your HIP benefit you’ve already used this month. Once your “HIP Earned Month to Date” is equal to your monthly cap (based on your household size), you’ve used up all the HIP you can earn that month.
To find out how much SNAP you have left to spend, check the “FS Balance” on your receipt or call the phone number on the back of your EBT card (1-800-997-2555).
How do I keep track of my HIP benefit balance?
The HIP benefit is added back to your SNAP/EBT card as soon as you buy HIP eligible fruits and vegetables from participating farmers. 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.
How can I get the most from my HIP benefit?
Spend your SNAP dollars on fruits and vegetables with participating HIP farmers before you spend your SNAP dollars on other SNAP-eligible foods. That way, the HIP benefit will rebate your SNAP purchases (up to the maximum cap per month—see above), and you can then spend your SNAP dollars on any other SNAP-eligible food purchase.
Your potential to earn extra SNAP money through HIP is reset on the first day of the month, no matter which day your regular SNAP benefits are deposited—so every time a new month rolls around, you have another $40-$80 to earn. Don’t miss out on free money—make sure you earn your full amount of extra SNAP each month!
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 the Department of Transitional Assistance at DTA.HIP@state.ma.us.
Where can I use HIP this winter?
Below are a selection of farmers’ markets and farm stands accepting HIP this winter—we’ll be adding more as details get confirmed, so check back often!
Amherst Winter Farmers’ Market
Hampshire Mall, 367 Russell Street in Hadley
Begins December 2, 2017
City Soul Farmers’ Market (Springfield)
Mason Square Library, 765 State Street
2nd Saturday of the month, 11am-2pm
December 9 – April 14
Farmers’ Market in Forest Park (Springfield)
Old Monkey House in Forest Park (use Trafton Road entrance)
Alternate Saturdays, 10am-2pm
November 11 – April 14
Market will be held on the second and third Saturdays in November only, then the second and fourth Saturdays in December, January, February, and March, and the second Saturday in April.
Greenfield Winter Farmers’ Market
Four Corners School, 21 Ferrante Ave, Greenfield
First Saturday of the month, 10am-1pm
November 4 – March 3
Northampton Winter Farmers’ Market
Northampton Senior Center, 67 Conz Street
November 25 – April 21
STCC Farmers’ Market (Springfield)
Springfield Technical Community College
Jan 10, Feb 14, Mar 14, April 11, May 9
Westfield Winter Farmers’ Market
Episcopal Church of the Atonement, 36 Court Street
10am-3pm on the following dates:
November 18, December 9, February 10
Atlas Farm Stand, Deerfield
Clarkdale Fruit Farms, Deerfield
D&R Farm, Hampden
Fungi Ally, Hadley
Granny’s Place, Agawam
Hager’s Farm Market, Shelburne
Mycoterra Farm, South Deerfield
Simple Gifts Farm, Amherst
Sweet Morning Farm, Leyden
Uppingil Farm, Gill
Urban Artisan Farm, Springfield