What is SNAP? SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps, is a federal nutrition program that helps people stretch their food budget and buy healthy food. It is administered by the Department of Transitional Assistance. SNAP benefits can be used to purchase food at grocery stores, convenience stores, some co-op food programs, farm stands, and farmers’ markets, including the Westfield Farmers' Market. SNAP benefits are given each month on a plastic card called an EBT (electronic benefits transfer) card, which works like a debit card. Paper coupons are no longer used. (Text borrowed from http://www.gettingfoodstamps.org/whatissnap.html)
What is HIP? The Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) matches SNAP purchases of fresh fruits and vegetables when qualified customers shop at farmers markets, farm stands, mobile markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share programs. Until March 31st, 2020, SNAP dollars spent at participating HIP retailers on HIP eligible fruits and vegetables will be instantly returned to your EBT card up to your monthly cap. Your monthly cap depends upon your household size. Households of 1-2 can earn up to $40 per month, 3-5 members $60, and households with 6 or more members can earn up to $80. The amount of HIP benefits appears on your receipt after making each HIP purchase.
“When a SNAP customer swipes their SNAP/EBT card for fruit and vegetable purchases, an equal amount of incentive funds are immediately and automatically added back to their cards, up to the monthly cap. For example, if a family uses their SNAP benefits to buy $15 of fresh produce at a farmers’ market, a credit of $15 will be immediately returned to their EBT card.” Find out more about HIP at: http://www.mass.gov/agr/massgrown/hip.htm
Westfield Farmers' Market added benefits for the SNAP Program. Spend your earned HIP benefit right away for even more healthy foods by using SNAP coins available for purchase at the Market tent. Thanks to two anonymous donors, we are currently able to match up to $5 weekly for every EBT customer purchasing Westfield Farmers' Market SNAP coins. Visit the Market tent to receive your matching dollars.