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  • Writer's pictureJulie Fraser

Funny Money

There's more than one way to pay at the market this summer. Here's the skinny:

Cash & Credit

Cash is accepted by all vendors, but some people don't like to carry it around and prefer to pack plastic. Credit and debit cards are great backup for those unexpected purchases. Maybe you've sampled a bit of cheese from a local monger or walked past a display of delectable baked treats. It occurs to you suddenly that a bottle of locally-produced hot sauce would make a great gift. Perhaps a gorgeous arrangement of flowers catches the eye and you didn't bring enough cash because you originally came just for a dozen farm fresh eggs or some veggies. While there are some booths able to process cards using their own Square readers right at the point of purchase, this isn’t always the case. For some vendors, it’s a personal choice and for some there's no service on their devices. The market is notorious for being a dead zone for certain wireless carriers. However, customers can bring their cards to the manager’s booth and have them swiped for a small convenience fee of $2 and receive wooden tokens in increments of $5 that can be used to buy anything. Cash is given back as change if the entire token is not used up.


Many more people these days enjoy the luxury of exchanging money with social payment apps like Venmo, but again, it’s each vendor’s choice and the same problem with wireless

access applies. So it’s best to be prepared with more than one option of payment. 

3SquaresVT/SNAP and Farm to Family Vouchers

Accessibility to affordable and nutritious food is important to the market and our managers are happy to help 3SquaresVT/SNAP customers swipe their EBT cards in exchange for $1 wooden tokens. Folks enrolled in EBT Cash or Direct Deposit will receive $5 wooden tokens. $1 tokens can be used to purchase all Snap-eligible items even including edible food producing roots, bushes, and bulbs (e.g. a fruit tree and asparagus crowns), plants that produce spice used for cooking, and food and beverages that are not hot at the point of sale (something sold cold and wrapped to-go). The $5 tokens can be used for anything. Tokens are good for the entire season if you still have a few left. A more detailed breakdown can be found on the USDA’s website or if you’re interested in applying for benefits visit the Vermont Foodbank Website.

If you’re enrolled in the Department of Health’s WIC program, you can get $30 worth of Farm to Family vouchers in the form of a coupon book from your local health office which buys fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs. Folks 60 and older can get up to $48 worth of these coupons.

Crop Cash

Crop Cash is essentially an extra bonus for anyone who receives 3SquaresVT/SNAP benefits. It’s a program funded this year by the Northeast Organic Farmers Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT), a nonprofit that gets support from private donors, fundraising events, and typically the USDA. This is how it works: for every SNAP dollar spent, Crop Cash will match up to $10. Managers will hand over $1 and $5 paper bills. The idea is to encourage recipients to purchase healthy foods while also supporting Vermont farmers and the local economy.  It can be used for a variety of things including fruits and vegetables (including apple cider and 100% fruit and vegetable juices!), dried and fresh herbs, culinary seeds, edible and medicinal plants, edible plant starts and seeds, beans, and mushrooms. For more information or if you’re interested in donating to NOFA-VT see their website.

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