Senior Farm Share Program

The Senior Farm Share Program helps limited-income seniors living in participating housing sites to access fresh locally-grown fruits and vegetables from their local farmer. Each week a Senior Farm Share member receives a portion of the harvest from the farm. In addition to receiving vegetables, seniors are given the opportunity to connect with other seniors within their residence through food distribution and preparation, learn from ways to cook and preserve their produce, meet other community members who are associated with the farm, and develop a relationship with the farmer who grows the food they eat each week. In 2022, there were nearly 1,000 Senior Farm Share members throughout Vermont!

The 2023 application period is now closed. The 2024 application period will open in late April or early May of 2024. Please contact [email protected] with questions about the program.

Please click on the Resources for Site Coordinators below to access the application materials. If you are a resident at a housing site that does not yet participate in the Senior Farm Share Program, and you think you may be eligible, please email [email protected].

A list of participating housing sites in 2023 can be found at this link.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for the program, an applicant must be:

  1. Aged 60 or older and reside at a senior housing site, and
  2. Earn a monthly income at or below 185% of the federal poverty income guidelines to be eligible. In 2023, a one-person household needs to have gross monthly income of $2,248 or less, and a two-person household needs to have a gross monthly income of $3,041 or less.


It may be possible for younger adults with a disability who live in a participating housing site to qualify if:

  1. They meet the income limit criteria,
  2. More than half of the site residents are age 60 or older, and
  3. The site offers congregate nutrition services. 


Senior housing sites are selected to participate based on several factors: number of interested residents who are income-eligible, proximity to the farm, and the availability and willingness of a Resident Service Coordinator to take responsibility for program coordination, including weekly share pick up and distribution.

If you have questions about eligibility, please contact Johanna Doren, [email protected], (802) 434-7162. 

What are the benefits?

The Senior Farm Share Program connects seniors to the farm through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share –community members buy a “share” of the farm's seasonal harvest. Senior shares are fully paid for by the program. Each senior is eligible for a $50 share, which is typically spread out over a 5-10 week share period. 

The federal grant that funds Senior Farm Share also pays for the farmers’ market coupons distributed to seniors through the Vermont Farm To Family Program. Federal rules do not allow a household to get Farm To Family coupons and also participate in Senior Farm Share in the same year.  

What is expected in each CSA share?

Each senior will receive enough vegetables to supplement their diet. They will receive about $5-10 of vegetables for every week of the program, depending on what is in season and what varieties the farmers grow. While participants will not necessarily get to choose the vegetables that are distributed, they can expect a wide variety of vegetables over the course of the summer.

Each farm grows most of the standard vegetables and many unusual vegetables like Swiss chard, different kinds of greens, fennel, and parsnips.  Participants should be open to trying new vegetables but talk with the farmer if they are unable to eat certain kinds of vegetables due to dietary restrictions.  If possible, farmers may tailor a senior share to meet special dietary needs of participants.

Some examples of share might look like the following:

  • Potatoes, beans, cucumber, summer squash
  • 1 onion, 1 small head of lettuce, 3 carrots and a tomato
  • 2 ears of corn, tomatoes, summer squash
  • one tomato, one zucchini, 1 bell pepper, 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 1 lb. baby carrots, 2 ears sweet corn, 2 medium tomatoes, 2 small zucchini ($10 share) 
When does the program begin and end?

Farmers generally begin food distribution in mid-July.  By that time, participants can expect a wide variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, squashes, cucumbers, and peppers.  The fall harvest brings winter squash, root vegetables, carrots, and greens.  Depending on when it starts and how many weeks it will last, share distribution may end by late August or mid-September.  Some sites decide to stagger their share weeks to take advantage of different seasonal offerings. 

How do shareholders get their vegetables each week?

Each week, on a designated day, the Housing Site Coordinator will either pick up the vegetables at the farm or have them delivered to a common kitchen or community space at the senior housing site. The coordinator will be responsible for the distribution of vegetables to all members, but may also request assistance from interested participants. It is important to find a small group of shareholders willing to take on some leadership for the distribution of vegetables to all. 

Who is administering the program?  ​

The Senior Farm Share Program is administered by the Vermont Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL). They do this in collaboration with the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) and the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF).

Project Funding & Non-Discriminatory Statement

This project is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA 


(1) mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights 
              1400 Independence Avenue, SW 
               Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; 

(2) fax: (202) 690-7442; or 

(3) email: [email protected].

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.