The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) awarded the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) a grant through the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program to expand its Healthy Incentives Pilot into a Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) that will serve participants of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) statewide. The program will provide 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. These incentives will be calculated and instantly applied to the SNAP recipient’s EBT card, and information on the incentive earned and SNAP account balance will be provided on the accompanying receipt. The maximum incentive that can be earned each month will be based on household size. Households with 1-2 members will be capped at $40, households with 3-5 members will be capped at $60, and households with 6 or more members will be capped at $80. These monthly cap amounts will allow for substantial increases in the amount of fruit and vegetable purchases by the household yet remain low enough to limit the State’s potential exposure to errors or fraud. Maria Infante of Project BREAD presented on HIP at the March 6, 2017 Community Partnership meeting at St. Vincent's  organized by United Neighbors of Fall River. Click here for a 29-minute video of the presentation. For more information, about the meetings, contact Executive Director Wendy Garf-Lipp a 508-324-7933.

(Top row) Lisa Alves of the Fall River WIC Program talks with United Neighbors of Fall River Executive Director Wendy Garf-Lipp who then talks with Maria Infante of Project BREAD and Beau Stubblefield-Tave of the Center for Culturally Fluent Leadership  before the meeting begins. (Row two) Ms. Infante is introduced by Ms. Garf-Lipp and outlines how the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) will work starting in April. (Row three) Rhode Island College social work student Svetlana Goretaya responds to the presentation and asks questions along with Ms. Alves. (Bottom row) Ms. Garf-Lipp thanks Ms. Infante for her presentation as Ann Medeiros of CFC Family Planning and Kat Kasheta of the Family Service Association CSA Program listen. 

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