Spring is finally in full swing and that means farmers markets are opening for their summer season. An exciting new version of Crop Cash is being introduced this year, enabling people who receive 3SquaresVT benefits to triple their buying power while also widening the array of products they can purchase at the market.
What is 3SquaresVT?
3SquaresVT, also known as SNAP/EBT, is a nutrition program that helps income qualified people supplement their monthly food budget. For those over 60 or living with a disability and without earned income, there is a simplified application process which makes it easier to apply.
If you meet income guidelines, you will receive money every month to use to purchase food. It’s important to know that everyone that is eligible, will receive assistance and you’re not taking away benefits who might need it more than you. You may qualify even if you have money in your bank account or own your own home. The average monthly benefit for an older Vermonter living alone is $100.00.
Interested in applying? Age Well’s trained staff can help! Call the Helpline at 1-800-642-5119.
What is Crop Cash?
Crop Cash is Northeast Organic Farming Association’s (NOFA-VT) SNAP incentive program at farmers markets. When shopping at a participating farmer’s market and using EBT benefits, Crop Cash will TRIPLE your buying power this year.
A person can use up to $20 of their SNAP benefits and receive double the amount of Crop Cash coupons. For example, if you use $10 in benefits, you will receive $20 in additional Crop Cash Coupons. Your $10 has turned into $30! Spending $20 of SNAP benefits will give you an extra $40 in Crop Cash benefits!
The Two Types of Crop Cash
This year, there are two kinds of Crop Cash: Crop Cash and Crop Cash Plus. Based on how you receive EBT benefits you will either have a combination of these or all Crop Cash Plus when you shop at Farmers Markets.
Crop Cash enables you to buy fruits, vegetables, seeds or vegetable starts.
Crop Cash Plus enables you to buy any EBT eligible item, which includes the above plus items like dairy, eggs, meat, and cold prepared foods like bread.
The coupons have an expiration date, so you can save them for another day (or another market).
Which Crop Cash Am I Eligible For?
The type of Crop Cash you receive will depend on how you receive your EBT benefits.
Those receiving cash EBT benefits, which include individuals who are disabled and most people 65 years and older will receive all the bonus in Crop Cash PLUS coupons. Those receiving standard EBT will receive Crop Cash and Crop Cash Plus coupons. Whichever combination you receive, you will triple your buying power! The staff at the market booth will provide you with the correct coupons.
How Do I Get Crop Cash?
- Go to a participating farmers market. Find a list of farmers markets participating in Crop Cash here.
- Locate the booth with a yellow sign saying “EBT and Debit Cards Accepted Here.”
- Let the representative at the booth know how much you would like to spend.
- Be sure to let them know if you receive your benefits as EBT cash or direct deposit so it’s processed correctly.
- The representative will ask you to swipe your card (unless you receive direct deposit).
- You will receive a combination of wooden tokens and Crop Cash coupons.
Not Receiving 3SquaresVT?
This is a great time to apply for 3SquaresVT! With the costs of food rising, the Crop Cash program helps you extend these benefits to purchase local food from local farmers.
Vermonters who meet income requirements can receive the benefit. Everyone should apply for 3SquaresVT, especially those on a fixed income. We know that there are many eligible individuals or couples who have never received this benefit. There is no limit to the number of Vermonters who can receive this benefit, so we encourage all individuals to apply.
Contact the Helpline at 1-800-642-5119 if you are interested in applying. Age Well has 3SquaresVT specialists who can help you apply and answer your questions.