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Environmental Science and Policy
The pinnacle of our Environmental Concentration in Sustainable Food, we, a group of four Smith College seniors coming from disciplines across the College, have compiled a comprehensive data and phenomenological analysis of the usage, accessibility, and functionality of the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) of Massachusetts. A specialized addition to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), HIP is a grant-funded initiative supported by the United States Department of Agriculture1 that seeks to connect local food producers with SNAP recipients in order to promote the consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. As proposed to us by the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, this project is an attempt to illustrate the functionality of the current iteration of the Healthy Incentives Program in order to understand what would be necessary for the Program to equitably serve all of the people that need it in Hampden County, Massachusetts with a particular focus on the cities of Holyoke and Springfield. To do this, the project is shaped around the following questions:
1. What is the relationship between HIP and SNAP usage in different ZIP codes?
2. Where are vendors actually accessible to users? What neighborhoods wouldbenefit from having additional HIP vendors?
3. How does the food system’s systemic racism impact use of this program?
©2021, The authors
Blake, Sawyer; Jones, Kiehl; Keller, Molly; and Turner, Madeline, "Can the Healthy Incentives Program (HIP) Serve Everyone Who Needs It?: A Mixed Methods Analysis of Healthy Food Access in Hampden County" (2021). Capstone, Smith College, Northampton, MA.
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