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Supporting Healthy Food Access and Farms

Helping people obtain more healthy foods and supporting local farmers in the process! A Win-Win!

hero_image_alt_text===A sign that explains the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP).
thumbnail_alt_text===A sign that explains the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP).

We are excited that the House has prioritize an opportunity to support our neighbors who lack access to healthy foods, and support our local farms at the same time! The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) provides a one-to-one dollar match for SNAP/EBT cardholder purchases of fruits and vegetables at participating farm stands, farmer's markets, CSAs or mobile markets. The program has far outpaced expectations, with SNAP recipients purchasing more than $2.5 million of fresh produce from local farmers between April and November! Unfortunately, this means program funding is scheduled to run out on April 15, unless something is done. The House has supported additional funding of the Healthy Incentives Program to help keep the program going.

In the first seven months, 58,000 SNAP clients benefited from HIP. Nearly half of the 33,000 households that have benefited include a senior, and more than 30% include a child. Every dollar allocated to this program is a direct investment in the health of Massachusetts residents and communities, our local economy, and our natural resources. Our elected officials have recognized the value of the program to low-income families, farmers, the economy, and the environment. A number of key lawmakers are championing the program in budget discussions, stressing the great return on investment HIP can provide, and the important values it represents. But since demand has proven to be so much greater than anticipated, more funding is needed. We continue to work on securing more funding and will keep you posted on ways to get involved.

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