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Food accessibility for students in Vermont

No one should have to choose between education and nutrition. If you ever find yourself needing support in accessing food, Vermont has many resources you can use, both on and off campus.

First stops for hunger relief in Vermont


Each month, 3SquaresVT provides benefits that can be used to purchase food for eligible Vermonters. Undergraduate and graduate students that are enrolled half time or in a full time program must meet a student work requirement or qualify to be excused. Students enrolled for less than half time do not need to meet this work requirement.  

  • Benefits. Households that meet income requirements are eligible to receive benefits from 3SquaresVT. These benefits come in the form of an EBT card to pay for groceries. EBT cards act like debit cards. The amount of benefits you receive is based on your household size, income and monthly expenses. Most grocery stores and markets will accept this form of payment. Anyone who applies and is approved will receive benefits every month. 
  • Crop Cash. You can increase the worth of your 3SquaresVT dollars by spending them at a local farmers market. Markets will match your 3SquaresVT benefits by $10 or more. This means that $10 of your benefits becomes at least $20 at the farmers market. You can use your Crop Cash to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, plants, seeds and more. Crop Cash can generally be used at summer or winter markets, but sometimes the program is paused during the winter due to high use. For 2024, Crop Cash is expected to continue again starting in the summer. Find more information here.

Vermont Foodbank. 

Vermont Foodbank is the largest food accessibility resource in the state. Vermont Foodbank has distribution centers throughout Vermont that help supply food shelves and meal sites. You can use their list of food assistance locations and resources to find support near you

  • VT Fresh. This initiative works with food shelves and pop ups to help Vermonters learn about food choices and preparation. Check out their easy recipes and kitchen tips
  •  VeggieVanGo. Vermont Foodbank distributes fresh produce each month at pop up sites across Vermont. You can also find cooking and nutrition information at these events. 

On campus food assistance for Vermont students

Many colleges offer clubs, pantries and other programs that support students in gaining access to meals. These resources are for enrolled students only unless noted otherwise. 

Champlain College

  • Chauncey’s Cupboard. Students can find free food and personal care products at Chauncey’s Cupboard every weekday. The pantry also works to provide students with enough food during school breaks, and in the past has given students the option to preorder what they will need when campus is closed. Connect with the pantry on Instagram for updates.


  • Rally Cat’s Cupboard. Rally Cat’s Cupboard is a student run food pantry located on the first floor of the Davis Center. While the pantry is open from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Monday and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Thursday, checking Instagram is the best way to stay updated.
  • Swipe Out Hunger. Off campus students can receive 14 free meal swipes per academic year by filling out this form. These meal swipes can be used at several UVM dining facilities.
  • Hillel Fresh. Hillel Fresh provides students with a free meal kit every other week for a Shabbat dinner. Although the meal kits include handouts with optional blessings, the program is open to all students regardless of their religious affiliation. The meal kits also include a recipe card and fresh, local ingredients. Students can choose to pick up their meal kit or have it delivered.

Saint Michael’s College 

  • Food Pantry. Saint Michaels’ pantry stocks both food items and toiletries for students. It is open from 12:00 pm on Thursday to 12:00 pm on Friday for students, faculty, and staff. 

Vermont State University 

  • Johnson Campus Food Pantry. Students can access the pantry in the Wellness Center on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3 pm to 6 pm. Although there are many changes as the school transitions from Northern Vermont University to Vermont State University, it is expected that the pantry will continue to be active.
  • Lyndon Campus Food Pantry. In addition to food, there are also basic school supplies and hygiene products available at the pantry Monday through Friday. Although there are many changes as the school transitions from Northern Vermont University to Vermont State University, it is expected that the pantry will continue to be active.

Food accessibility resources for Vermonters

As an agriculture focused state, Vermont has many programs and initiatives that aim to make fresh and nutritious food more accessible to all Vermonters. 

  • Farm to Family. Farm to Family offers $30 worth of coupons that can be used at participating farmers markets. This program is for people who meet income requirements or who currently participate in the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).
  • Food for All. City Market offers a 15% discount on bulk items and a 10% discount storewide for those who participate in the Food for All program. It is free to enroll and open to people who receive 3SquaresVT, WIC, or Supplemental Security Income/Social Security Disability Insurance (SSI/SSDI).
  • Intervale CSA Supported Shares. The Intervale Center provides CSA shares at a reduced price for those who qualify (similar standards to 3SquaresVT). CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and signing up for a share entitles you to fresh, local produce that you can pickup at the farm every week. The cost is usually paid upfront, but there is an option on the application for a payment plan. 
  • NOFA Farm Share Program. Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) offers another CSA option. The Farm Share program works with farms across Vermont to reduce their share prices for those who need it. Proof of income is not required to apply for the program. 
  • WIC. WIC works to give those who are pregnant or caring for children under five years of age access to nutrition support and healthy food. There are many other resources that can be accessed through this program, and you can apply here.

The bottom line

Hunger Free Vermont found that across the state, food and nutrition resources are underutilized. According to their website, around 70,000 Vermonters use 3SquaresVT, but many more qualify. In short, there are enough resources to go around. Don’t hesitate to use these supports if you find yourself without consistent access to meals or worry about having enough to eat.