Healthy incentives program went over its budget

Boston Statehouse

(WWLP) – A state program that reimburses food stamp recipients for the cost of local produce was suspended over the weekend. 

The Healthy Incentives Program went over its budget. The Healthy Incentives Program, or HIP, started in April 2017. It spent nearly $4 million in just one year, reimbursing recipients for the state assistance they spend on fruits and vegtables. 

It was only allowed to spend 1-and-a-quarter million dollars annually for the next three years. The Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst expects  business will take a hit, but the owner’s not suprised it went over budget.

Jeremy Barker-Plotkin Owner of Simple Gifts Farm told 22News, “Last week, 20 percent of our business was the HIP program which was probably a little high last week because people were trying to use up their benefits but it’s a significant bite for us.” 

The House passed a budget for additional funding, but the senate committee has yet to vote on a budget that would fund the program until June. 

Governor Charlie Baker would need to sign a new budget by June 30. 

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