LINK Card, aka food stamps, worth twice as much at farmers markets through LINK Up Illinois program, Quinn says

June 8, 2013 (CHICAGO)

The idea is to encourage families to use their LINK cards at their nearby farmer's market, and now, you can even get more bang for your buck.

It's a warm sunny day on Chicago's South Side. The 61st Street Farmer's Market in the Woodlawn community was bustling with shoppers.

Starting Saturday, this Farmer's Market became a lot more family friendly. Governor Quinn made an appearance there to announce a new healthy initiative for low-income families.

"We're here to help the Farmer's Market," he said. "We believe in the cause."

The idea behind the initiative is to get the word out so more families using their Link cards can bring them to their local farmers markets and buy fresh food for their families.

Beginning Saturday, families can use their LINK cards at Farmers Markets all across the state, and at 38 of them get double their money with the double value

"We eat too much junk food, but an opportunity to get extra income in order to buy fruits and vegetables that are better for us and for our life that's really what this program is all about," Quinn said.

It's good news for families like Octavia Jones' who can use a helping hand.

"I feel like the more you save the more you have to spend and it's very important when your income is not so high that you have something to supplement it works out great," Jones said.

Encouraging people to shop locally is a win for them and the local vendors.

"We have worked with 38 markets around this state so far to establish double-value coupons at their markets," said Connie Spreen, executive director Experimental Station.

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