On August 19, 2020

Crop Cash triples money spent at Farmers’ Markets August-October

Program offers $3 in spending for every $1 of 3SquaresVT spent on local fresh foods

Currently more than 68,000 Vermonters who receive 3SquaresVT benefits (known as SNAP nationally) to help them provide food for their families. Starting Aug. 1, Vermonters who spend some of their 3SquaresVT benefits at 28 participating farmers’ markets across the state will be able to triple their spending power by purchasing fresh, local food with Crop Cash, according to a press release Aug. 14. The Crop Cash program is administered by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), who has been incentivizing the use of 3SquaresVT/SNAP benefits at farmers’ markets for more than 10 years.

Typically, Crop Cash provides a 1:1 match of 3SquaresVT/SNAP benefits, up to $10 per day. However, for the months of August, September, and October, NOFA-VT will double the Crop Cash match (i.e. a 2:1 match), providing up to $20 extra per day. That means Vermonters shopping with 3SquaresVT/SNAP benefits will have triple the spending power for fresh, local food at the farmers market.

The Crop Cash program works like this: customers go to the booth at the market designated with the yellow “EBT and Debit Cards Accepted Here” banner. They decide how much of their 3SquaresVT/SNAP benefits they would like to spend at the market, and then swipe their EBT card. Customers who receive their 3SquaresVT benefits directly deposited into their bank accounts can still use the program. They will be given wooden tokens worth $1 to use at any vendor that sells 3SquaresVT eligible foods. As a bonus for shopping at the market, they will also be given Crop Cash, an incentive in the form of a $1 dollar bill that matches their 3SquaresVT purchase, up to $10 per market day (up to $20 per market day for the months of August, September, and October). Crop Cash is then used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs from vendors at the farmers market or it can be saved to use at the market later in the season.

The Crop Cash program benefits 3SquaresVT/SNAP 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.

“Crop Cash is at the very heart of our mission to grow a thriving, ecological, and equitable local food movement here in Vermont,” said Grace Oedel, NOFA-VT’s executive director. “This program is a win-win for everyone. It contributes to the local economy, puts money into the hands of Vermont’s farmers, and provides healthy, nourishing food for all Vermonters.”

For more info visit nofavt.org/cropcash, dial 2-1-1 or 802-434-7162.

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