Keeping Kids and Families Fed During the Summer Months

3SquaresVT helps make sure that people in need don’t go hungry by providing monthly food assistance to eligible families and individuals through a user-friendly EBT card. Eligibility is determined by household income; for example, a family of four with a monthly income of up to $3,970 may be eligible. SEVCA’s Family Services staff are available by appointment to assist households to apply for 3SquaresVT. To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-464-9951. To apply for 3SquaresVT benefits online, visit www.vermontfoodhelp.com.

The children of families who receive 3SquaresVT are automatically eligible for free school lunches, which can help kids maintain their health and their ability to learn. But summer can be a difficult time for many families to meet their nutritional needs. Fortunately, free summer meal programs for children are offered in many communities. Visit Hunger Free Vermont to find a summer meals program, or call SEVCA for help locating a program.

Eating the right food is critical to good health, and additional resources are available to qualified households to help increase the volume of fresh fruits and vegetables in their diets, such as Farm-to-Family coupons and farmer’s market incentive programs.

Farm-to-Family coupons help families in need purchase fresh produce at farmers markets. SEVCA is distributing coupon books worth $30 each to eligible low-income households on a first-come, first served basis. Unfortunately, walk-ins cannot be accommodated. The coupon books go quickly, so interested families and individuals are urged to contact SEVCA at (800) 464-9951 as soon as possible to apply. Coupons must be requested prior to September 30 and redeemed by October 31.

In addition, 3SquaresVT has partnered with farmers’ markets across the state to make sure those receiving benefits can use them to get plenty of fruits and vegetables. To locate a farmers’ market near you that accepts 3SquaresVT, visit: https://www.hungerfreevt.org/farmers-markets-3squaresvt/. Most farmers’ markets also offer a program called “Crop Cash” to 3SquaresVT recipients—for every dollar in 3SquaresVT benefits spent, they will provide $1 of free tokens for use at the market, up to a value of $10/day. Ask if your local farmer’s market participates in the “Crop Cash” program.

"If I could give you one thought, it would be to lift someone up. Lift a stranger up--lift her up. I would ask you, mother and father, brother and sister, lovers, mother and daughter, father and son, lift someone. The very idea of lifting someone up will lift you, as well."

Maya Angelou