HIP To Go FAQ's

SNAP/HIP Questions

What is HIP?

  • The Healthy Incentive Program (HIP) provides SNAP participants extra money to spend at participating farmers markets, farm stands, and Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSA’s) to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables. 

 

How do I sign up for HIP?

  • All SNAP recipients are automatically enrolled in the HIP program.

 

  • What is the total amount of HIP Incentive I can earn monthly?

    • Households 1-2 persons is $40/month

    • Households 3-5 persons is $60/month

    • Households of 6+ persons is $80/month

 

Do HIP dollars carry over month to month?

  •  Remaining balances DO NOT carry over to the next month, so be sure to plan your visit to participating markets like the REC Mobile Market each month to earn the maximum benefit!! HIP renews on the 1st of the month regardless of when your SNAP dollars are reloaded. 

 

How do I find my HIP balance? 

  • Call 1(800) 997-2555 to find out how much HIP you have used. You must have a SNAP balance to use HIP.

 

What if I get less than $40 a month in SNAP?

  • Our staff will run several small transactions on your card to get you your full monthly HIP benefit. For example: You have $10 SNAP balance, and wish to purchase a produce bag for $20 using your HIP benefits. We will draw $10 from your card, replacing it with $10 form HIP, and do a second transaction for $10 which is also returned from HIP. You will have spent $20 in HIP using $10 of SNAP.

 

What if my remaining SNAP balance when I shop is less than my total amount of monthly HIP dollars?

  • We can run several smaller transactions to get you to the desired HIP purchase amount. Please reserve a balance of $5 of SNAP on your card to minimize wait time for other customers. If you have a balance of less than $5, we may ask you to wait until we have served other customers to complete your transaction. 

 

What if I have zero balance?

  • You are not able to earn HIP for the month if you have a $0 balance. 

 

Can someone else use my card for me?

  • Yes. Households can give permission to friends, family, or other trusted people to use their EBT card on their behalf, with no need for formal documentation or written paperwork. Please provide your pin to the person using our card in order to complete the transaction at time of pick up.

 

Will you take money from my regular SNAP balance?

  • As long as you have HIP available, your purchase will not reduce yourSNAP balance. If you run out of HIP, you may still use SNAP balance to purchase a produce bag.

 

Do you take cash benefits?

  • Yes, however, HIP doesn't apply to purchases made with cash benefits, so you will not have any money reimbursed. 

What is P-EBT?

  • P-EBT provides food supports to help families with children who were receiving free and reduced-price school meals pay for food while schools are closed. Families who are eligible for P-EBT but not enrolled in SNAP will receive a P-EBT card. You will be able to visually see the difference between an EBT card and P-EBT card.  Purchases made with P-EBT are processed just like SNAP purchases, however, produce purchased with a P-EBT card will not earn HIP. Families who are eligible for P-EBT, and enrolled in SNAP, will receive their P-EBT benefits directly on their EBT card. 

Can I pay with my P-EBT card?

  • Yes, you can use a P-EBT card to purchase produce, however you will not be reimbursed through HIP. 

Other Questions:

Where does the produce come from? 

  • The majority of fruits and vegetables we offer are locally grown from area farms. We mostly source through the Worcester Regional Food Hub and small farmers in Central MA (see farms listing for more information). Many vegetables are grown organically, and others are not. The fruit is a mix of tropical products (not grown in MA) and local apples. We will use more local fruit as it becomes seasonally available.

 

Can I buy with a credit card or debit card?

  • Yes.

 

Can I buy with cash?

  • We are sorry, we can not accept cash during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

What if I don’t like what's in the bag?

  • We expect to increase our variety for pre-orders over the coming weeks and are working to reopen our farmers markets in June in a safe manner which will allow for maximum customer choice

 

Why are there no strawberries?

  • We do our best to support local farms. We do not carry non-local produce that can be grown in MA. We offer all products seasonally, and we supplement only with non-local produce such as tropical fruit to fill gaps as needed. 

 

Do I need to drive to the location for pick up?

  • You may come on foot and or bike as well as a vehicle.

 

What if I know someone who wants to order, but does not have a computer?

  • They may call 508-799-9139 ext 105 and leave a message with a phone number for a return call.

What if someone doesn't have access to an online form for ordering?

  • They may call 508-799-9139 ext 105. Leave a clear message with a phone number and we will call you back to make your order.


 

Farm Names:

As the season continues, we will by offering more local produce!

For more information about the Healthy Incentives Program, you can go to https://www.mass.gov/service-details/healthy-incentives-program-hip-for-clients

GET IN TOUCH!

We'd love to hear from you.