REGION – We all know that eating right is critical to good health, but with the high cost of food, fuel, housing, and health care, a lot of people can’t afford to buy enough nutritious food for themselves and their families. This can be especially challenging with the added pressure of the holidays. 3SquaresVT can help families, seniors, and others in need to stretch their budgets and put more healthy food on the table.
3SquaresVT is Vermont’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance program, designed to help households who can’t afford their monthly food expenses. Whether they are experiencing a short-term financial crisis or longer-term challenges, 3SquaresVT helps seniors, families, and individuals with lower incomes make ends meet. In fact, 1 in 8 Vermonters already receive 3SquaresVT benefits. Monthly benefits come on a debit card accepted at most grocery stores and many farmers’ markets, making it easy for households to use them. Having 3SquaresVT enables families to buy enough food, which is good for them and good for the local businesses they shop at too.
Many people don’t know they qualify for 3SquaresVT. A family of four earning up to $3,871 per month gross may be eligible, and households can have a savings account or an asset like a car or home and still qualify. There are special rules that make it easier for households that include a senior or a person with a disability to receive benefits. For more information on whether you might qualify for this assistance, visit www.vermontfoodhelp.com/do-i-qualify.
Households that qualify for 3SquaresVT benefits can access many other programs to make life more manageable, such as free school meals for children and the Vermont Earned Income Tax Credit. Households may also use 3SquaresVT at many farmers’ market locations, including many winter farmers markets, and double their money with “crop cash.” Households may also receive crop cash if they receive cash assistance. Shoppers should visit the manager’s table at the market prior to making their purchases.
SEVCA’s Family Services staff is available by appointment to assist households to apply for 3SquaresVT. For more information, call SEVCA at 1-800-464-9951. Households can also apply online at www.vermontfoodhelp.com.