Market at the Square Program Makes Farm-Fresh Foods More Accessible

Market at the Square reinstates program to make farm-fresh foods more accessible by doubling LINK card purchases

Urbana’s Market at the Square has received a combined $12,500 in funding from Farm Credit and LINK Up Illinois to directly support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) program.

In Illinois, SNAP benefits are loaded onto a card called LINK. Customers may then use their LINK card at the farmers market to purchase eligible items including produce, meat, dairy, honey, bread, and food-producing plants. While the Market has accepted LINK since 2010, this year marks one of the largest awards ever received by Urbana’s Market at the Square to support the SNAP Double Value program. The SNAP double value program is currently underway for the 2017 season.

“Both of these organizations do incredible work for the people in our community and their support is so very much appreciated,” said Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez. “Farm Credit, along with LINKUp Illinois, have made a huge contribution to the farmers market’s efforts to expand access to healthy local food. They were instrumental in helping Urbana’s Market at the Square to distribute a combined total of $21,500 in SNAP and matching funds during the 2016 market season. Thanks to these very generous organizations, Urbana’s Market at the Square will be able to better connect the broader community to local farmers and local food and make a positive impact on our local economy.”

“Farm Credit is proud to partner for a second year with Urbana’s Market at the Square to provide double value on SNAP purchases,” said Beth Bolger, industry engagement manager Farm Credit Illinois. “This program enhances the value the market already provides to the farmers who sell their agriculture products there weekly, as well as the entire community in support of our local foods system.”

For more information about using SNAP at Urbana’s Market at the Square, and about the SNAP Double Value program, please visit, or contact Natalie Kenny Marquez at or 217/384-2319. For more information about Farm Credit, visit