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Using SNAP benefits at your local farmers market

23/Jul/19 / 17:44

During the sunny summer months, farmers markets pop up all over Northern Illinois, bringing an abundance of fresh, local produce to convenient community locations. From squash to strawberries, tomatoes to turnips, and everything in between, the fruits and vegetables found at farmers markets make for colorful and nutritious additions to any meal.
 
While this plentiful produce is often less costly to buy than at a traditional grocery store, it can still be out of reach for many families in our service area who struggle to make ends meet.
 
But fortunately, SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) can help make room for more fruits and vegetables. At farmers markets, direct marketing farms, or farm stands that are certified by the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), low-income families can use their Link card to buy produce with SNAP. You can find a list of farmers markets that accept SNAP on our website here.
 
Markets listed with an asterisk (*) are an even better bargain, as they provide Double Value Coupons – meaning if you spend $10 of your SNAP benefits, you’ll receive an additional $10 in Double Value Coupons, enabling you to buy $20 worth of fruits and vegetables.
 
Another resource for finding farmers markets that accept SNAP is the USDA’s Farmers Market Directory Search. To see only locations that accept the Link card, select SNAP under “Payment Accepted.” You can also go to the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s website to look up the days and hours a farmers market will be open. However, please note that the Illinois Department of Agriculture lists ALL farmers markets (including those that do not accept SNAP).
 
If you have questions about the SNAP program or your eligibility, please reach out to a member of the Food Bank’s SNAP Outreach Team! Call us toll-free at 844-600-7627 or email snap@northernilfoodbank.org.


How You Can Help:

 

  • Volunteer at one of our Centers in Geneva, Rockford or Park City sorting and packing food
  • Donate to help us solve hunger in your community – every $1 donated helps provide $8 of groceries.

 

 
 
 
 

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(1)“June is National Dairy Month.” International Dairy Foods Association.

(2)“9 Milk Nutrition Facts You Need to Know.” America’s Milk Company.

(3)“National Dairy Month.” Midwest Dairy.

(4)“Dairy Fun Facts and Trivia.” University of Illinois Extension.