Nutrition & Food Access Resources in Vermont

Nutrition & Food Access Resources in Vermont

SNAP-Ed works to improve nutrition security, which means all Vermonters have consistent, equitable access to the nutritious, safe, and affordable foods that are essential to living healthy lives.

A Snapshot of Hunger & Food Insecurity in Vermont

According to Hunger Free Vermont, 10% of Vermonters experience hunger every day. In 2020, this number increased to 33%. It is no wonder that the USDA recognizes food and nutrition security as a goal -- poor nutrition leads to illness, higher health care costs, and health inequities, since certain groups are more likely to be impacted than others.

Click to see USDA Nutrition Security page

Children with enough nutritious foods learn better and experience fewer behavioral issues, anxiety and health problems like obesity. Adults with enough food to eat also experience fewer health challenges.

Additionally, a poor diet and lack of physical activity, along with tobacco use, increases one’s risk of four chronic diseases:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease and stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Lung disease

These diseases account for more than 50% of all deaths in Vermont. 3SquaresVT and SNAP-Ed provide resources to reduce barriers to healthy eating and physical activity—which, in turn, impact rates of chronic disease.

Learn more about how the USDA plans to reduce food insecurity in the United States

Helpful Resources

Browse this page for statewide healthy eating and food access resources, plus resources for preparing fresh, healthy foods on a budget.

Help Getting Food

Find a Food Shelf Locator: Find a food shelf via the Vermont Foodbank’s searchable map of food shelves and cupboards located across Vermont.

3SquaresVT: Income-eligible Vermonters get a debit card that can be used to buy food at stores and farmers markets around the state.

Crop Cash: Vermonters who get 3SquaresVT benefits can exchange $10 of benefits and get $20-$30 in Crop Cash to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs at local farmers markets.

WIC: Income-eligible Vermonters who are pregnant, breastfeeding, have a new baby, or have young child(ren) get healthy food, formula, and a range of nutrition and breastfeeding support and resources.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP): Older Vermonters (age 60+) who meet income requirements can get a box of non-perishable, healthy staple food items—like cheese, pasta, and vegetables— from various locations across the state.

VeggieVanGo: VeggieVanGo vans park at schools, hospitals, and other community sites around Vermont and provide free, fresh produce to anyone in need.

School Meals: Schools are a great resource to help families stretch their food budgets. Many schools offer breakfast, lunch, and even snacks at a free or reduced rate depending on one's household income. This school year (2022-2023), all Vermont schools are offering free meals to all students regardless of their income. If interested, parents and caregivers should talk to their schools about accessing school meals.

Summer Meals: Many kids participate in Vermont’s free or reduced school meal program—however, in the summer, many lose access. Hunger in the summertime contributes to "summer learning loss" and can prevent children from enjoying their summer breaks. Summer Meal Programs bridge the gap between school years, giving children ages 18 and under the fuel they need to return to school ready to learn. Ask your school about Summer Meal sites near you or check out this list from Hunger Free Vermont (updated annually).

Help Preparing Healthy Meals on a Budget

Food Hero: Oregon State University’s resource helps you learn how to shop for and prepare healthy, tasty meals for the whole family. Plus, there is content just for kids!

Spend Smart. Eat Smart: This database, from Iowa State University, has tons of tips and recipes for how to eat healthy while sticking to a budget. Every recipe features the cost per serving.

Hunger and Health: Feeding America’s recipes feature ingredients that are commonly found at food banks. Most meals are simple and require little to no tools or equipment. And they are still budget-friendly and nutritious.

How To Eat Right When Money’s Tight: This handout from the USDA offers up some tips to stretch your food dollars.

Resources for Community Partners

If you are looking to help share nutrition education and food access information with clients, look at the following resources.

Vermont Nutrition Education Committee (VNEC): SNAP-Ed is one of many resources to help Vermonters find, prepare, eat and store healthy, nutritious food. Representatives from many of the programs listed above meet, as VNEC, a few times per year to share program updates and look for opportunities to collaborate. Contact Suzanne Kelley at  [email protected] for more information about his group. We welcome new members!

Food and Nutrition Resources for Vermont Families: This cheat sheet provides a high-level overview of food access programs offered across the state, including eligibility information and how to sign up.

Vermont Food and Farm Health Program Inventory: FarmtoPlate’s comprehensive report lists the community programs across Vermont working to address food insecurity.

Hunger Councils: Led by Hunger Free Vermont, ten regional Hunger Councils are committed to learning about hunger and improving community and household food security. The Hunger Councils coordinate efforts and build strong nutrition safety nets at the community and statewide levels.