3SquaresVT helps Vermonters stretch their food budgets and put three square meals a day on their tables. There are currently over 81,000 Vermonters who receive 3SquaresVT benefits, and some of them live in Shelburne, Charlotte, and Hinesburg.
Effective May 1, Vermonters can use their 3SquaresVT benefits at the Shelburne Farmers Market, and they will be able to double their money with Crop Cash, which can be used to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs from local farmers at the market.
The Crop Cash Incentive Program works like this: customers go to the booth at the market designated with the yellow “EBT and Debit Cards Accepted Here” banner. They say how much of their 3SquaresVT benefits they would like to spend and then swipe their EBT card. They will be given wooden tokens worth $1 each to use at any vendor that sells 3SquaresVT-eligible foods.
As a bonus for shopping at the farmers market, they will also be given Crop Cash, an incentive in the form of a one-dollar bill that matches their 3SquaresVT purchase, up to $10 per market day. Crop Cash is then used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs at participating farmers markets.
The Crop Cash Incentive Program benefits 3SquaresVT households, Vermont farmers, and the local economy by increasing the opportunity for limited-income Vermonters to use their federal benefit dollars to purchase more fresh, local produce that directly supports local farm businesses.
“This is such a wise and win-win program for our customers, our farmers and our greater community, we are proud to be a part of it, and welcome 3SquaresVT beneficiaries from our neighboring towns to come to the Shelburne [Farmers] Market, which will be open Saturdays beginning on May 27, to shop,” said Market Manager Tod Whitaker.
Shelburne Farmers Market is located at the intersection of U.S. Route 7 and Church Street in Shelburne Village, and is open on Saturdays from 9am to 1pm. It is one of more than 40 farmers markets in Vermont that accept 3SquaresVT benefits and offer Crop Cash. For more information on Crop Cash, including a list of participating markets, visit www.nofavt.org/cropcash, or dial 2-1-1.
The Crop Cash Incentive Program is coordinated by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), with funding from the USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program and Wholesome Wave.