Information on Farm to Family Coupons and EBT tokens

Farmers markets provide the best in local and fresh produce. Realizing the nutritional benefits of fresh produce, federal and state agencies and non-profit organizations provide low-income families with access to farmers markets through various programs. By participating in these programs, farmers markets and vendors benefit from increased customer sales. The Old North End Farmers Market vendors accept Farm to Family coupons for fresh produce and EBT cards for food items (excluding hot food).

Farm To Family Coupons

The Vermont Farm to Family Program has two goals:
  • to get nutritionally at risk people to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and
  • to expand the use of farmers’ markets.
In Vermont, the Department for Children and Families Economic Services Division (ESD) manages the program and the Department of Health, Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living, and Agency of Agriculture are its partners. Program participants receive $30 a year in coupons redeemable only for fresh locally grown produce sold at farmers' markets.

For more information to see if you are eligible, click here http://dcf.vermont.gov/esd/farm_to_family

3SquaresVT Program (Formerly Food Stamps)

Vermonters are receiving over $8 million a month in federal SNAP benefits (called 3SquaresVT in our state). At a farmers’ market, 3SquaresVT benefits can be used to purchase all types of unheated food, including meats, bread, eggs, produce, and even vegetable starts. Because these benefits are now issued in the form of an Electronic Benefit Transfer card (EBT), the market needs an electronic card reader to be able to accept benefits in exchange for food.

Most farmers’ markets need a wireless machine since markets typically do not have access to electrical and phone outlets. If your market does have access to an electric source and a phone line, you can receive a free card reader from the Food Stamp Program that accepts EBT cards only. If not, you will want to consider whether or not your market would like to invest in a wireless electronic card-reader.

Although they are expensive, wireless card readers can enable your market to accept EBT, Debit and Credit. There are also a number of grants and programs that can help markets get card-readers and set-up programs to accept EBT.

Find out about eligibility for receiving an EBT card here: fns.usda.gov/FSP/applicant_recipients/eligibility.htm

What you CAN buy with your EBT card at the Farmers Market:

  • Fruits, vegetables or herbs
  • Meats, fish, poultry
  • Breads and other baked goods
  • Dairy, honey, or maple products
  • Processed foods like pickles, jams
  • Cider and other non-alcoholic beverages
  • Other non-hot foods for the household to eat
  • Seeds and plants to grow food for the household to eat

What you CAN'T buy with your EBT card at the Farmers Market

  • Any food served hot
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Pet foods
  • Vitamins and medicines
  • Non-food items (soaps, cut flowers, crafts)