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Success for the Healthy Incentive Program

Launched in April 2017, the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) provides a 100 percent incentive – a dollar-for-dollar match – for each SNAP dollar spent on targeted fruits and vegetables purchased at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs statewide.

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By increasing access to locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP clients, the program seeks to benefit family and community health, and support farms and the local economy. Along with strong partners, the American Heart Association advocated for increased funding for the program. We were thrilled that the budget included $4 million for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), which doubles SNAP households’ purchases of fresh produce when they buy it directly from farmers. This program has already generated more than $5 million in sales for MA farmers and provided tens of thousands of families with fresh, healthy, local food that they would otherwise not have been able to afford.

SNAP families purchased $3.3 million in fresh, healthy, local foods, with 63,630 individuals increasing their fruit and vegetable intake by 1 serving per day thanks to HIP. More than 200 farms sold $3.3 million more of the fresh fruits and vegetables they grew. This increase in sales helped generate 22-48 new jobs in the farming sector. Increased farm sustainability means farmers are better able to protect their land, stewarding natural resources that benefit the environment. Additionally, the increase in healthy eating can mean savings of more than $1.1 million in public health costs. A win-win!

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