BENNINGTON -- With tax season getting underway, Hunger Free Vermont wants people to know that anyone with children who can get an Earned Income Tax Credit may also qualify for 3SquaresVT benefits and reduced or free school lunches.
Dorigen Keeney, program director for Hunger Free Vermont, said families with dependent children who get the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) are considered income eligible for 3SquaresVT benefits, meaning income and resources do not factor into the calculations for what benefits they might receive.
"It's been in place for some time," she said, but added that many people are not aware of it and don't file for the credit thinking they will not receive anything.
She said in order to get 3SquaresVT using the EITC, one has to have received the credit first. Those applying have to provide the date they received the credit.
"Many people will qualify"
"Many people will qualify for EITC for the first time this year because their income declined, their marital status changed, or their families grew," said Faye Conte, 3SquaresVT advocate for Hunger Free Vermont in a release. "With the connection to 3SquaresVT, these same families not only save money with the tax credit, but also put more nutritious food on the table."
According to Conte, the average 3SquaresVT benefit to families with children is $200. Children in families receiving 3SquaresVT benefits also qualify for free school lunches. Conte wrote that the Internal Revenue Service estimates one in five that are eligible for the tax credit do not apply for it.
Last year, 45,000 Vermonters received the EITC.
"Check with the IRS to see if you qualify, even if you don't usually file taxes," wrote Conte.