Universal LINK Match Incentive Program in Champaign-Urbana allows SNAP shoppers that use LINK benefits at local farmers markets to swipe their LINK card at any of the three local markets and use the same tokens and match vouchers to buy products from vendors at the Champaign Farmers Market, C-U Winter Farmers Market, and Urbana’s Market at the Square. Match vouchers may also be used to purchase fresh, local fruits and vegetables any day of the week at Common Ground Food Co-op (CGFC) in Urbana.
How it works…
Each week, you can swipe your LINK card for tokens at the market(s) and receive the match each time, even on Triple LINK Day, but you can only receive up to the maximum match amount once per market day. To participate in the program, bring your LINK card to the Market Information and Benefits tent near the entrance of either market. Staff on site will be able to help you with your transaction, as well as answer any questions you may have about using your benefits at the markets. Match vouchers may be used to purchase fresh, local fruits, vegetables, and plant starts from any vendor at any of the three markets. Match vouchers are not redeemable for cash and no change is given when paying with them.
Double LINK Days –
Every week you can double the value of your LINK card swipe at the farmers markets, up to $20. Swipe for $20, get $20 in tokens for all SNAP-eligible items and $20 in match vouchers for fresh, local fruits and vegetables at any of the three markets or Common Ground.
Triple LINK Days –
On the third market of each month, you can triple the value of your LINK card swipe at the farmers markets, up to $20. Swipe for $20, get $20 in tokens and $40 in match vouchers. Urbana’s Market at the Square and the C-U Winter Farmers Market have their Triple LINK Day on the third Saturday of each month, while Champaign’s has theirs on the third Tuesday.
The program is funded through Link Up Illinois, a program of Experimental Station in Chicago. Part of the funding comes from an FMPP grant support from the USDA and the other funds come from newly appropriated state funding.