Take Action to connect farmers and
You can make SNAP Match programs at farmers markets a reality for Illinois families and farmers!
SNAP stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. 1 in 6 children in Illinois rely on SNAP for their next meal.
Families that use SNAP don’t always have the means to afford fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables, but SNAP Match programs at farmers markets change that. They double the purchasing power of low-income families to buy fresh, local produce at farmers markets while putting more federal SNAP dollars into the pockets of family farmers.
Will you tell your state representative that every farmers market in Illinois should have a SNAP match program?
Legislators are considering the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund that would provide state funding to farmers markets to help families using SNAP afford fresh, local food.
SNAP Match programs at farmers markets work by providing SNAP customers with matching funds to use on fresh fruits and vegetables. This means that a SNAP customer that swipes their card for $20 to spend at the farmers market, will be matched with an additional $20 spend on produce.
SNAP match programs help low-income shoppers stretch a dollar and feed a growing family with wholesome food, while also ensuring that federal SNAP dollars are spent directly with small family farms and reinvested in Illinois communities. Win-Win!
Unfortunately, not every farmers market in Illinois has the capacity to offer a SNAP match program and funding for these programs often runs out. You can help!
Tell your representative that every farmers market in Illinois should have a SNAP Match program.
A $500,000 state investment in the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund would make it possible for more farmers markets to start or grow a SNAP match program.
The $500,000 in state funding would also be eligible for a federal match creating a total fund of $1 million invested in families and farmers.
Carey Smith, an Alliance supporter, uses SNAP when she shops at the Old Capitol Farmers Market in Springfield.
Carey told us she struggles to feed her family on the $1 per person per meal SNAP allowance.
“While we are never in danger of starvation (my pantry is always stocked with beans and rice), we often experience food insecurity, not having the means to purchase bread, milk, and fresh vegetables and fruits until our SNAP benefits are refilled.”
She uses the SNAP match at the market. “I go once per week, and the extra $25 I receive for fresh produce allows me to spend more on meat and bread products at the market. This is a huge benefit to our family and provides a definite relief in our food insecurity issues during the market season.
Thanks for using your voice to support families like Carey’s, local food farmers, and farmers markets.