Sen. Gobi advocates for Healthy Incentives Program during budget debate

  • ANNE GOBI

Staff Report
Published: 11/24/2020 6:40:52 PM
Modified: 11/24/2020 6:40:49 PM

BOSTON — Sen. Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) rose during budget debate on Tuesday to deliver an impassioned speech on the success of the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) and the need for expanded services to combat food insecurity in the Commonwealth.

As the co-chair of the Massachusetts Food Systems Caucus and the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, Sen. Gobi has studied the need for greater food access for many years has consistently advocated for funding boosts to food programs during Senate debate.

The Senator had this to say on the funding, “HIP has proven to be one of the Commonwealth’s most successful and welcome programs. The pandemic has shown gaps in our food supply chain and this program has helped to fill that gap by helping families and farmers.”

Launched in April 2017, the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) provides 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. By increasing access to locally grown fruits and vegetables for SNAP clients, the program benefits family and community health, and support farms and the local economy.

Funding for this program has increased consistently over the last three years as it remains one of the most popular DTA programs benefiting families and the local economy in turn. Funding for the program this year is $13 million, doubling FY20 appropriations and reflecting both the success of the initiative and its popularity.

The Senate-passed version of the budget now heads to conference committee negotiations. For more information, please contact Sen. Gobi’s office at Anne.Gobi@MASenate.gov.


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