The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), known in Vermont as 3SquaresVT (food stamps), is a federal nutrition program that offers food assistance to those who are eligible. It is a program that allows people to stretch their grocery budgets with more money to access nutritious, wholesome food.
When EBT cards are used at farmers’ markets, recipients swipe their card and receive tokens that can be spent like cash to purchase food items. For each one dollar token, a person can purchase fresh, nutritious produce, as well as seedlings to plant.
Additionally, as part of the Vermont Farm to Family Program, 3SquaresVT recipients may be eligible for a $30 Crop Cash coupon for fresh fruits, vegetables and cut herbs.
You might be wondering, how will this work when used at a farmer’s market?
When you use your Vermont Express EBT Card, you will receive a $1 dollar token that can be used to purchase anything within the usual buying power of 3SquaresVT. You will also receive Crop Cash coupons that will match the amount you spend from your EBT card, up to $10. Even if you do not have the Vermont Express Card, you can still obtain a Crop Cash coupon.
In Vermont, there are more than 400 stores and retailers who authorize and recognize 3SquaresVT food benefits. Of these stores and retailers, 42 are farmers’ markets that accept EBT and debit cards. Roughly 20 of these farmers markets supply the same services throughout the winter.
EBT cards are designed specifically for individuals to receive their monthly 3SquaresVT benefits by conveniently operating like a debit card. Important steps have been made toward enhancing the growing power of 3SquaresVT food benefits. The dynamic between farmers’ markets and 3SquaresVT recipients reveals an important connection to the types of benefits people may earn, by promoting healthier spending choices and aiding in the stimulation of the local economy.
By giving 3SquaresVT recipients the choice to be a part of all aspects of buying and consuming, nutritional needs are met and relationships to locally grown produce are reached.