Bonus Bucks: Making Local Food Affordable

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Bonus Bucks: Making Local Food Affordable

BONUS BUCKS IS BACK FOR THE 2019 SEASON!
Stretch your food dollars, support your local farmer and take advantage of the great local food we have right here in St. Lawrence County. It’s a win, win for everyone! GardenShare’s Bonus Bucks program, offers a cost sharing arrangement with income eligible St. Lawrence County residents to purchase either a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA) Share, or for purchases at any of the following five St. Lawrence County Farmers Markets: Canton, Potsdam, Massena, Gouverneur or Hammond.

How It Works

1) Determine if you meet the income criteria on attached application or listed below and if so,

2) Chose one of the following Bonus Bucks options:

Option 1: Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Share
Through this option, you can work with one of the local growers (on the info letter down below) to pre-purchase a “Share” for the growing season. In essence, you become an investor in the farm and in exchange, you are guaranteed a return in produce at regular intervals throughout the season. Every farmer has slightly different arrangements with their “investors” so it is important for you to connect directly with the farmer in advance to determine which arrangement will work best for you. If you chose a CSA, GardenShare will match your costs, up to a maximum of $250. For example, if you chose a share that costs $350, we will match half of that cost. You pay $175 and we pay $175. If you chose a share that costs $550, you pay $300 and we pay $250. You may be able to pay for your SHARE with SNAP benefits, but will require arrangements in advance, and will be considered on a case by case basis.

Option 2: St. Lawrence County Farmers Market Purchases
Purchase up to 50 Bonus Bucks Farmers Market cards worth $10 each directly from GardenShare and we will match your costs up to $250. For example, if you purchase 10 cards (worth $100), you pay $50 and we pay $50. If you purchased 50 cards (worth $500), you pay $250 and we pay $250. Those cards are then yours to be exchanged at any of the 5 St. Lawrence County Farmers Market Managers tables for Bonus Buck tokens that can be used as cash at the market for any SNAP eligible items. The tokens do not expire. This option is NOT available to SNAP recipients as there are other farmers market incentive programs we sponsor specifically for families receiving SNAP.


3) Once you have made your choice and decided what you wish to spend, fill out GardenShare’s Bonus Bucks application and submit payment. All information must be provided as requested in order for your application to be considered.

4) Once application and payment is received by GardenShare, we will review and contact you to finalize the process.

5) Enjoy the amazing local food St. Lawrence County has to offer and help build a strong local food system!

*Bonus Bucks will be available until funds are exhausted. Bonus Bucks is made possible through the generous support of the following organizations: Allen Foundation, St. Lawrence University Kappa Delta Sigma Sorority, America’s Farmers Grow Communities Award, Stewart’s Shops, Nature’s Storehouse and Canton’s Middle School Green Team, as well as through donations from GardenShare supporters.

For more information reach us at 315-261-8054 or info@gardenshare.org

Do you qualify for GardenShare Bonus Bucks? The total gross yearly income of all your household members combined must be at or below these levels:

If you have 1 person in your house hold, your annual income must be less than $30,150.
If you have 2 people in your house hold, your annual income must be less than $40,600.
If you have 3 people in your house hold, your annual income must be less than $51,050.
If you have 4 people in your house hold, your annual income must be less than $61,500.
If you have 5 or more people in your household, your annual income must be less than $71,950.

Limit: one per household per year.
If you are a dependent on someone else’s tax return who does not meet these levels, you do not qualify for Bonus Bucks.

Then, download the application below, fill it out, and send it into GardenShare.

Please note:

  • Bonus Bucks is a program of GardenShare, a nonprofit organization that works to make wholesome food available to all of us.
  • GardenShare is not itself a farm or a farmers market. We simply introduce you to CSA farms and farmers markets that accept our Bonus Bucks.
  • Participating CSA farms are located in the document below. Please contact the farms directly for more information about shares, plans and costs.
  • GardenShare does not certify or endorse any of the farms listed. It is your responsibility to choose a farm or farmers market that best meets your needs.

    Tax-deductible donations to GardenShare help make local food affordable for people on limited incomes.
    Click here to make a donation to help extend Bonus Bucks to more families.