Your advocacy is working! Thanks to your calls and emails, the House Ways and Means Committee included $2.15M for HIP funding in the supplemental budget bill that will be voted on THIS MORNING. That money will allow HIP to continue through June, avoiding the planned suspension of the program entirely.That’s just a first step, though. The supplemental budget still needs to pass a full vote in the House and in the Senate, and then be signed by the governor. HIP funding could be removed or reduced at any of those steps.

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP to make sure that money stays in the budget bill!

Please call your state reps and senator THIS MORNING and ask them to vote YES on the supplemental budget, including funding for the Healthy Incentives Program.

This letter from the Mass Food Systems Collaborative includes phone numbers and contact info, as well as some helpful info on what to say when you call. (Note: while the letter says the vote will take place Wednesday, it has been moved to today’s docket.)

The House Committee on Ways and Means released their version of the supplemental budget this morning and i t includes money meant to avoid the April-June HIP suspension. We need to take action TODAY to make sure this happens. The full House, and likely the Senate, will take up the bill tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 11:00. Below are a few simple things you can do to help.
For each of these calls or emails, keep it short, be polite, and be sure to thank whoever you’re talking to for their support for HIP. Focus on just a few sentences about your personal experience. Farmers can talk about how they’re planting crops right now in preparation for the season and are counting on seeing all of the new customers from last year return, for example. SNAP recipients can mention how important the continuity of the program is for their family’s health. Advocates can say what a success the program has been for their communities, and how excited everyone is for produce and seedlings to be available in the next few months. Again, short and personal.
– Call or email House Ways and Means Chairman Sanchez (617-722-2990, Jeffrey.sanchez@mahouse.gov) and THANK HIM for including the funding for HIP in his committee’s bill. We are relying on him and his Committee for the fiscal year 2019 funding as well, so showing appreciation is really important!
– Call or email your senators and representatives (find their contact info here) and ask them to support the supplemental budget with the HIP funding included.
– Call or email the governor’s office (617-725-4005 or use this form) and ask that he sign the supplemental budget with the HIP funding included.
Every call and email counts. Even if you know that your local legislators are already supportive of HIP, hearing from you reinforces that support. And be sure to thank them!
And, THANK YOU for all that you’re doing to support HIP!
Winton Pitcoff, Director
MA Food System Collaborative
413-634-5728

We’d also like to thank State Reps Dan Donahue (Worcester) and Hannah Kane (Shrewsbury) for all their hard work championing and leading on this effort.

Learn more about the Healthy Incentives Program and why HIP is so important

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