Frequently Asked Questions

What is HIP?

HIP is a program that can help you buy more locally grown fruits and vegetables. When you buy fruits and vegetables with SNAP/Food Stamps 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?

HIP matches SNAP/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 incentives up to a maximum monthly benefit based on the size of your household. You will need to spend SNAP/Food
Stamp dollars on fruits and vegetables to earn HIP incentives. It’s easy to earn HIP and the benefit is added directly back to your SNAP/EBT card and can be used towards any future SNAP eligible purchase at any SNAP retailer.

What is the maximum HIP incentives I can earn each month?

Depending on the size of your household, you can earn up to an additional $40 per month for 1-2 member households, up to $60 per month for 3-5 member households, and up to $80 per month for households with 6 or more members— on top of your regular monthly benefits.

Where can I earn HIP incentives?

You can earn HIP incentives 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 incentives 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/Food Stamps purchase. To find a participating farmers market, mobile market, farm stand or CSA farm share program near you, go to or call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-
8333. Look for the HIP logo when shopping at participating farmers markets as not every farmer may be participating.

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, canned tomatoes, applesauce, frozen berries, and dried mushrooms, are all HIP eligible foods. Fresh herbs, as well as 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), ornamental and decorative fruits and vegetables, blueberry muffins and other baked goods, dried spices and herbs.

How do HIP eligible foods help me and my family?

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables every day helps to keep you healthy! Eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to a lower risk of 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 benefit?

Yes, the earned HIP benefit can be spent on any SNAP eligible foods. It can be used right away, or saved for a future SNAP purchase at any retailer that accepts SNAP/Food Stamps.

What is a farmers market?

A farmers market is a market where you can buy Massachusetts’ grown produce and other foods from a group of farmers.

What is a farm stand?

A farm stand is an on-farm store where you can buy produce right from the hands that picked them.

What is a community supported agriculture (CSA) farm share program?

A CSA farm share program is a membership-based service that provides your family with fresh fruits and vegetables every week. Traditionally, the CSA model requires full payment in advance, but this is not always possible for everyone. That is why the CSA farm share program allows SNAP/Food Stamp customers to enjoy all the benefits of joining a CSA while paying monthly (using SNAP) instead of all at once. Contact a participating farm to sign-up with a CSA farm share program.

What is a mobile market?

Markets that bring farm-fresh produce right to your community.

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/EBT account balance, the HIP benefit earned for that
purchase, as well as the total HIP benefits 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 balances.

Who should I contact if I have any problems using my SNAP/EBT card for HIP?

For questions or concerns regarding your SNAP/EBT card, call the number on the back of your card (1-800-997-2555).

Who do I call if I have questions about HIP?

For questions about how HIP works or where you can earn HIP incentives, please call Project Bread’s FoodSource Hotline at 1-800-645-8333. More information about the program can be found online at: You may also email us at