SOUTH BURLINGTON -- There are currently over 90,000 Vermonters who receive 3SquaresVT benefits to help them buy more food for their families. Starting this July, when Vermonters use their 3SquaresVT benefits at the farmers' market, they will double their money with Harvest Health coupons so they can buy more fresh food from local farmers.
The system works like this: Vermonters go to the booth at the market designated with the "EBT and Debit Accepted Here" sign to swipe their EBT card. They say how much of their benefits they would like to spend and then swipe their 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 market, they will also be given fuchsia Harvest Health coupons to match their EBT purchases, up to $10 per market day.
The Harvest Health Coupon Project has proven to be a win-win for both 3SquaresVT households who are able to purchase more farm-fresh food and local farmers who are able to market their products to more Vermonters. There are now 41 farmers' markets in Vermont accepting EBT cards, which carry 3SquaresVT benefits. Of these markets, all but one shares Harvest Health Coupons! For a list of these EBT markets, please visit vermontfoodhelp.com or dial 2-1-1.
The Harvest Health Coupon Project is coordinated by the Northeastern Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), with funding from the Vermont Specialty Crop Block Grant Program and the Vermont Legislature through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, along with Newman's Own Foundation and the Wholesome Wave Foundation. Hunger Free Vermont does outreach to 3SquaresVT participants so they know they can use their benefits at markets and access the coupons.
About Hunger Free Vermont: Hunger Free Vermont is a statewide nonprofit organization that works with state agencies and community groups to develop sustainable hunger solutions. Since 1993 Hunger Free Vermont's outreach programs have substantially enhanced Vermont's nutrition safety net and increased access to nutritious foods. www.hungerfreevt.org.