Support HIP Funding – A Message from Martha and Liz
We need your help to support HIP funding and ensure that the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) is fully funded for the upcoming year. We’re encouraged that our Massachusetts legislators recognize the importance of this vital program, but it needs more support. Please read the letters from our program director, Martha Assefa, and the Worcester County Food Bank’s Liz Sheehan Castro to learn how you can take action to support HIP funding.
Hello Wonderful Community!
Happy Spring! I hope that you are doing great! I wanted to share with you an important action item on our beloved Healthy Incentives Program and our need to get cosponsors for increased funding for this vital program. Big shout out to Worcester County State Senator Anne Gobi for her leadership on this HIP amendment #489 to fund at $6.2 million and a second amendment #927 number for the Community Partners like Central Mass Grown who have helped with farmer participation in this program. Thank you also to Senator Tran who already has signed onto the amendment. Please call and email immediately and feel free to use the wonderful action alert from Liz Sheehan Castro at the Worcester County Food Bank below for additional information.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the REC plant sale on Saturday from 10-2pm at the Worcester Common.
Take Action Today!
The Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means has released their budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2019 and it includes $3 million for the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP). This is a good start, but it falls short of the $6.2 million needed to keep the program running for another year.
HIP, the program that provides a 100 percent match for SNAP dollars spent at participating farmers markets, farm stands and CSAs, has been hugely impactful for SNAP customers and farmers throughout Massachusetts. It is a win-win for food access, public health, and economic development in our state. In one year, nearly $4 million of incentives were earned and an equal amount of local fruits and vegetables were sold, meaning thousands more families were able to eat nutritious, fresh foods and growers benefited from this expanded customer base.
We have a chance to raise HIP funding to $6.2 million by encouraging our senators to sign on to a budget amendment sponsored by Senator Anne Gobi in the coming days.
What Can You Do? Raise Your Voice!
Your legislators need to hear from you now about why HIP matters. Call and E-mail today!
Call and email your state senator TODAY and urge her/him to support Senator Gobi’s amendment for $6.2 million for HIP in the fiscal year 2019 budget.
When you call, you will likely be connected to a staff member who will pass on your message.
Don’t know who your senator is? Click here.
Here is a sample script:
Hello Senator <<< THEIR NAME>>>
My name is <<>>. I am a constituent from <<>> in your district, and I am calling about the future of the Healthy Incentives Program. I am asking you to co-sponsor Senator Gobi’s amendment to budget line item 4400-1001 to fund this program at the $6.2 million needed to sustain it through FY19.
This program has had a huge impact for Massachusetts SNAP customers and farmers. It ensures that thousands more people – including many children and seniors – can access the fruits and vegetables they need to stay healthy, and it helps create a more viable farm economy in our State.
I care about this program because <>.
I hope you will help to ensure the future of this important program.
Thank you for your time,
Want more ideas for what to say? Click here for some quick facts on HIP.
Thank you so much for YOUR commitment to ending hunger in Worcester County!
Liz Sheehan Castro
Director of Advocacy
Worcester County Food Bank