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Grow your garden with 3SquaresVT

Purchase fruit and vegetable seeds and seedlings with your 3SquaresVT benefits to put fresh food on your table all season long

It’s time to think about which fruits, vegetables, and herbs to grow this season. Did you know Vermonters can buy their seeds and seedlings that produce edible foods with 3SquaresVT?

3SquaresVT is Vermont’s name for the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which provides eligible people with money every month to buy groceries.

In addition to typical grocery food items, 3SquaresVT can be used to buy seeds and seedlings. Grocers across the state carry seeds and seedlings all season long, including the Brattleboro Food Coop. Nearly 70,000 people in Vermont are signed up for 3SquaresVT and can shop at over 600 retailers and more than 40 farmers markets across the state.

At most farmers markets, shoppers with 3SquaresVT can double their dollar to buy produce, seeds, and seedlings. This dollar-match program, called Crop Cash, is operated by NOFA-VT. For every $1 spent in 3SquaresVT benefits, shoppers will receive an additional $1 in Crop Cash, up to $10 in extra money for fruits, veggies, seeds, and seedlings. For the rest of the winter market season, there is a $2 match, up to $20.

“With the rising costs of food and fuel, 3SquaresVT is always here to support our food budgets through challenging times,” Ivy Enoch, Food Security Advocacy Manager at Hunger Free Vermont, said in a news release. “People shopping with 3SquaresVT keep millions of dollars every month in our local economy, and support our local food retailers, farmers, and growers, who create jobs and provide nourishing food to our communities. It’s a win-win.”

One in 10 Vermonters receive 3SquaresVT benefits, but many more are eligible. There are enough benefits for everyone who qualifies, so no one is taking away benefits from anyone else by signing up. Everyone who is eligible to receive 3SquaresVT will get this important financial support with an approved application, and organizations across the state can help people apply.

Visit Vermont Food Help to learn more about 3SquaresVT, how to apply, and where to shop at vermontfoodhelp.com.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #663 (Wednesday, May 11, 2022).

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