What is the Vermont Farm Share Program?
NOFA Vermont’s Farm Share Program assists limited-income Vermonters in obtaining farm fresh foods. Farm Share participants receive partially subsidized shares from Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. Each year, the Farm Share Program assists over 1,400 individuals and families participating in CSA programs.
NOFA Vermont stopped accepting summer applications on June 1. Please read the program description.
*Interested in Senior Farm Share? Please click here.
Who is Eligible to Participate?
Limited-income Vermonters who meet the income eligibility standard may participate in the program. NOFA Vermont uses the eligibility guideline of 185% of poverty – in 2013, that is equivalent to monthly incomes of $1,772 for a single person, $2,392 for a couple, $3,011 for a family of 3, $3,631 for 4, $4,251 for a family of 5 and $4,871 for a family of 6.
If you are interested in participating in the program, please read the program description.
About the Program
NOFA Vermont’s Farm Share Program has been serving Vermont since 1994. The program was begun in response to the increase in food insecure children and adults in Vermont as well as the recognition of the gap that exists between social service providers seeking food for limited-income individuals, and farmers seeking a local market for their food. The program has grown from serving a dozen individual families and three farms in 1995 to more than 1,400 Vermonters in 2011.
Food Insecurity in Vermont
Hunger Free Vermont notes that 32% of Vermonters cannot afford either enough food or nutritious food. Nearly 88,000 Vermonters live in food insecure households. Adults in households determined to be food insecure are so limited in resources that they are running out of food, reducing the quality of food their family eats, feeding their children unbalanced diets, or skipping meals so their children can eat.
NOFA Vermont’s Response: The Farm Share Program
Drawing on NOFA Vermont's long relationship working with farmers committed to community food production, we established the program as a way to link food producers with limited-income Vermonters. Each year, the Farm Share Program subsidizes the cost of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) shares, providing a season's worth of fresh farm products (vegetables, eggs, bread, meat) to limited-income families and children, and seniors (Senior Farm Share).
The CSA is a unique model of food assistance that:
- Encourages the local consumption of highly nutritious, fresh, and diverse farm products, regardless of economic status;
- Supports long-term changes in daily intake of vegetables and fruits because the fresh food is available each week for several months;
- Connects people of diverse life circumstances to the farmer, land, and food they eat through planting, harvesting, and pick-up of products at the farm;
- Supports the agricultural costs incurred by farmers through one-time, up-front, member payment for a 15-30 week share of the season's harvest;
- Provides fair market value, through direct, farmer to customer sales; and
- Encourages individuals and families to spend their food dollars locally.Many CSA programs also provide farm and nutrition education through cooking and food preparation workshops, recipes and other resources. Due to program demand, the Vermont Farm Share Program has catalyzed the development of new CSA's in underserved areas of the state.
Funding the Vermont Farm Share Program
Vermont Farm Share depends on donations from the community; your support makes a difference!
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