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Get Free Food in Vermont

Get Free Food in Vermont

You can get free food in Vermont (and even double your food benefits) through these nutrition incentive programs! These programs offer free fruits and vegetables from local farmers markets.

In this article, we’ll explain what these programs are, who is eligible for them, how they work and what you need to do to start getting free produce with your next SNAP purchase.

Crop Cash

You can get up to $20 worth of free food in Vermont when you shop at participating markets with your 3SquaresVT food stamps benefits! This program will help you buy more nutritious, locally-grown fruits and vegetables with your benefits.

What is Crop Cash?

Crop Cash is a nutrition incentive program that helps low income Vermont residents get more food with their benefits. When you spend your food benefits at a participating market, you’ll receive extra in-market currency to purchase locally grown, nutritious food.

You can use your Crop Cash to purchase fresh, locally-grown:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Culinary seeds
  • Plant starts

The program runs during the summer and winter market seasons, although the rules may vary slightly between seasons.

Who is eligible?

Anyone who receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits in Vermont can use this program. If you use SNAP, you can receive $10 from Crop Cash and an additional $10 from Crop Cash PLUS. That’s $20 in free bonus bucks when you spend $10 in benefits!

If you receive EBT Cash benefits, you can still receive some benefits when you shop at participating markets. According to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, EBT cash shoppers can receive a one-to-one dollar match in the winter or Crop Cash PLUS in the summer.

Don’t forget! If you’re eligible for Crop Cash, you’re also eligible for these EBT discounts, too!

How do you apply?

You don’t need to apply before you visit the market. Instead, just go to a participating market and talk to the market manager at the information booth. Tell them how much you want to spend that day and they’ll give you tokens and Cash Crop vouchers so that you can purchase eligible products from the different vendors at the market.

Where can I use these benefits?

The following markets are offering Cash Crop benefits as of this publication:

CityName
ArlingtonArlington Village Farmers Market
BarreBarre Farmers Market
BrattleboroBrattleboro Area Farmers Market
BurlingtonBurlington Farmers Market
St. JohnsburyCaledonia Farmers Market Association
MontpelierCapital City Farmers Market
South HeroChamplain Islands Farmers Market
ChelseaChelsea Farmers Market
CraftsburyCraftsbury Farmers Market
DorsetDorset Farmers Market
Bellows FallsGreater Falls Farmers Market
GreensboroGreensboro Farmers Market
HardwickHardwick Area Farmers Market
WindsorHartland Farmers Market
JerichoJericho Farmers Market
LyndonvilleLyndon Farmers Market
Mancester CenterManchester Farmers Market
WoodstockMarket on the Green
MiddleburyMiddlebury Farmers Market
MiltonMilton Farmers Market
MorrisvilleMorrisville Farmers Market
NewportNewport Farmers Market
NorthfieldNorthfield Farmers Market
St. AlbansNorthwest Farmers Market
NorwichNorwich Farmers Market
BurlingtonOld North End Farmers Market
PutneyPutney Winter Farmers Market
RandolphRandolph Farmers Market
RichmondRichmond Farmers Market
RochesterRochester Farmers Market
ShelburneShelburne Farmers Market
TownshendTownshend Farmers Market
RutlandVermont Farmers Market
WaitsfieldWaitsfield Farmers Market
WaterburyWaterbury Farmers Market
WinooskiWinooski Farmers Market
LondonderryWest River Farmers Market

Farm to Family

Vermont’s Farm to Family Program serves any resident who meets the income guidelines! You’ll get free vouchers that can be used at local farmers markets, making this an easy way for low income households to get free food in Vermont.

What is the Farm to Family program?

The Farm to Family program provides up to $30 in free coupons that can be used to purchase locally-grown fruits, vegetables and herbs at participating farmers markets and farm stands around the state.

If you are over age 60, you can get $48 in coupons! That makes this a great way for seniors to get extra food.

Who is eligible?

In order to be eligible for this program, you must be a Vermont resident and meet the income guidelines. The guidelines change every year but are listed on the Vermont Department for Children and Families website.

In 2023, the income limits are $2,248 for a single person, $3,041 for a couple, or $4,625 for a household of four.

How do you apply?

There are two ways to apply to the Farm to Family program.

If you receive WIC, you can apply by attending a WIC Farm to Family session in your area. The schedules for these events can be found in your WIC newsletters or by calling your local health office.

If you do not currently receive WIC but meet the income limits for this program, you can apply at your local Community Action Agency. The application process typically begins between mid-June or July of each year.

You First

You First isn’t technically a food-focused program but it is a way that you could get free food in Vermont! After all, this program that can help you get extra coupons to your local farmers market!

What is You First?

You First is a program that covers the cost of breast and cervical cancers screenings and diagnostic follow-ups.

In addition to that service, they also offer special benefits for people who are between the ages of 30 and 64 years old. These special benefits include things like health coaching, fitness memberships, weight loss programs, state parks passes, and coupons for local farmers markets.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for You First if you meet the following criteria:

  • You live in Vermont.
  • You are 21 years old or older.
  • You have (or previously had) breasts or a cervix.
  • You meet the income guidelines.

How do you apply?

You can apply online using the application form on the You First website.

If you prefer, you can also print the application. Someone can help you fill it out if you call their organization at 800-508-2222 as well.

Summary

There are several programs that will help you get free food in Vermont. These programs can help you double or even triple the value of your 3SquaresVT food stamps benefits or give you free coupons for farmers markets outside of those benefits. These are great ways to get more food when you’re on a tight budget.

Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.