People who use the Link card – which does the same thing food stamps used to – could find more places to get food: their local farmers’ markets. Those markets are not always known, though, for low prices. “A lot of people would rather pay a little bit more to know exactly where their food is coming from,” says Kendra Buchanan, a local foods marketing specialist with the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “Just having that opportunity for Link customers is very important.”

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Buchanan is spreading the word about a federal grant program which is helping farmers’ markets get wireless EBT readers so they may accept Link cards. The deadline to apply is July 9.

Buchanan says there are about 350 farmers’ markets in Illinois, and only about fifty accept the Link card.

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