Southern Illinois Link Hub
Food Works helps administer the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) at farmers markets in Southern Illinois, and was the first to pilot a double value incentive program that provides a $1-for-$1 match, up to $25 per swipe, on all SNAP purchases at the market. Food Works currently offers area farmers markets through the Southern Illinois Link Hub:
• Free technical assistance for application process and program implementation
• SNAP Support Stipends for a SNAP Coordinator
• Matching funds for Link Match Coupons
Applying to accept SNAP benefits is easier than ever with technical assistance from Food Works. We can help markets apply for an FNS number with the USDA, free equipment, and waived transaction fees. We also can provide resources and training for record keeping, marketing, and volunteer coordination. Markets can access SNAP Support Stipends as compensation for added labor and marketing expenses associated with operating the program.
To help low income families stretch their food dollars further, farmers' markets can also access funding to operate a Link Match double coupon program. The Link Match program gives shoppers a $1-for-$1 match, up to $25 per swipe, for their SNAP transactions with coupons to use on fresh fruits and vegetables. This program has been shown to increase SNAP sales at markets, and increase the bottom line for farmers. Accepting SNAP at a farmers market is a win-win-win for:
• low income families who can buy fresh local fruits and vegetables;
• farmers who can access a new customer base for produce sales;
• the overall health of the community.
Food Works has partnered with Experimental Station to be the Southern Illinois Link Hub and to offer SNAP Support Grants and funding for the Link Match program to the following farmers markets throughout southern Illinois:
Support Comes From: