Link Up Illinois is an incredible dollar-matching program that helps low income Illinois residents get more food for their SNAP dollars! This program works at farm stands, farmers markets, food coops, and even independent grocery stores.
If you get SNAP in Illinois, you need to know about this!
What is the Link Up Illinois program?
Link Up Illinois gives EBT shoppers extra money to purchase healthy locally grown produce. They double the buying power of food benefits to help low income people get twice the amount of food they actually pay for.
This program works differently depending on whether you shop from a farmers market or a participating store. The Link Match vouchers you receive at a farmers market can be used at any participating farmers market. The Link Match vouchers that you get form a store must be used at the specific store that you received them from.
This program is organized by Experimental Station and has been running since 2011.
Who is eligible for Link Up Illinois?
Anyone who receives Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits from the state of Illinois can participate in this program. There are no additional eligibility requirements that you need to meet. That means that 1 in 6 Illinois residents are eligible!
However, this program only works at specific participating retailers. You have to make sure that you are shopping from a vendor who participates in this program.
How does it work?
The way the program works varies depending on whether you’re shopping from a farmers market or an actual store.
At the Market
If you use these benefits at the market, then you will need to find the Information Desk or Market Manager when you arrive. They can help you figure out how to get your vouchers.
The vouchers you receive from the market will be Universal Link Match vouchers. They can be used at any participating farmers market to purchase eligible produce. If you don’t use them all, save them for another day or another market!
At the Store
There are many local grocery stores and convenience stores that offer this program. To get the vouchers, you just need to purchase healthy items at your participating store. You’ll get the Link Match Vouchers when you check out.
You can choose to spend the vouchers the same day or return another day. Whenever you use them, you will need to return to redeem those vouchers at the store that gave them to you. They cannot be used at other stores.
Where can I get vouchers from Link Up Illinois?
That’s the big question! Fortunately, there are many markets and stores that accept these vouchers all over the state.
- Aurora Farmers Market
- Fresh Start Community Market
There are a few markets in Carbondale that participate in Link Up Illinois.
- Carbondale Community Farmers Market
- Farmers Market of Carbondale
- Humpday Farmers Market
There are also two grocery stores in Carbondale.
- Neighborhood Co-op Grocery
- Town Square Market
- Champaign Farmers Market
- Humbleweed Farm
There are stores and markets in Chicago that participate in Link Up Illinois. To make it easier, we’ve divided our list by stores and markets.
This is the list of participating stores:
- Cermak Fresh Market
- Dill Pickle Food Co-op
- Go Green Community Fresh Market
- Mi Mexico
- Morgan Mini Mart
- One Stop Food and Liquors
- Pete’s Fresh Market #5
- Top Box Foods (delivers to Community Centers)
There are also many local markets that participate. You’ll need to verify the details for these, as their locations, hours and seasons may vary.
- 61st St Farmers Market
- Andersonville Farmers Market
- Austin Town Hall City Market
- Back of the Yards Farmers Market
- Bronzeville City Market
- Daley Plaza City Market
- Division Street City Market
- Farm on Ogden
- PPC Austin Farmstand
- Forty Acres Fresh Market
- Fresh Moves Mobile Market
- Garfield Park Neighborhood Market
- Glenwood Sunday Market
- Green City Market
- Grow Greater Englewood Farmers Market
- Hyde Park Farmers Market
- Logan Square Farmers Market
- Mercado de Colores
- Northcenter Farmers Market
- Plant Chicago Indoor Firehouse Market
- Plant Chicago Summer Farmers Market
- Pullman City Market
- Remixing the Narrative Farmers Market
- Soul City Community Market
- South Loop Farmers Market of Grant Park
- South Loop Farmers Market of PRinters Row
- South Shore Farmers Market
- Ujamaa Co-op Farmers Market
- Uptown Farmers Market
- Urban Canopy Pickup Market
- West Humboldt Park City Market
- West Town Health Market
- Wicker Park Farmers Market
- Market 309 (Peoria, IL)
- Peoria RiverFront Market
- North End City Market
- Rockford City Market
- Rockford Midtown Market
- Illinois Product Farmers Market
- Old Capital Farmers Market
- FRESH Farmers Market
- Neighbors’ Marketplace
- Champaign-Urbana Winter Farmers Market
- Urbana’s Market an the Square
- Solo Gratia CSA and Farm Stand
Some areas only have one participating market. To prevent this article from becoming cluttered with subheadings, we have decided to condense the one-market cities to this list. The list is organized alphabetically by city for your convenience.
- Alton Farmers & Artisans Market (Alton, IL)
- Batavla Farmers Market (Batavla, IL)
- Benton Farmers Market (Benton, IL)
- Downtown Bloomington Farmers Market (Bloomington, IL)
- Village of Brighton Farmers Market (Brighton, IL)
- 18th St Farmers Market (Charleston, IL)
- Danville Farmers Market (Danville, IL)
- Richland Farmers Market (Decatur, IL)
- Dekalb Farmers Market (DeKalb, IL)
- Du Quoin State Fairgrounds Farmers Market (Du Quoin, IL)
- Land of Goshen Community Market (Edwardsville, IL)
- Downtown Elgin Farmers Market (Elgin, IL)
- Elverado Farmers Market (Elkville, IL)
- Downtown Evanston Farmers Market (Evanston, IL)
- Galesburg Farmers Market (Galesburg, IL)
- Glenview Farmers Market (Glenview, IL)
- Jo Daviess Local Foods (Elizabeth, IL)
- Jacksonville Farmers Market (Jacksonville, IL)
- Kankakee Farmers Market (Kankakee, IL)
- Lanark Farmers Market (Lanark, IL)
- Marion Farmers Market (Marion, IL)
- Northbrook Farmers Market (Northbrook, IL)
- Sugar Beet Food Co-op (Oak Park, IL)
- Palos Heights Farmers Market (Palos Heights, IL)
- Park Forest Main Street Market (Park Forest, IL)
- Park Ridge Farmers Market (Park Ridge, IL)
- Rantoul Farmers Market (Rantoul, IL)
- QC Farmers Market (Rock Island, IL)
- River’s Edge Farmers Market (Oregon, IL)
- Terripin Farms (Quincy, IL)
- Skokie Farmers Market (Skokie, IL)
- Vandalla Illinois Farmers Market (Vandalla, IL)
- Lake County Farmstand (Waukegan, IL)
- Woodstock Farmers Market (Woodstock, IL)
The Leaf Food Hub is also a participating venue. This online market serves Southern Illinois. You need to place your order online for Thursday delivery.
FAQ about Link Up Illinois
There are a lot of questions about this dollar-matching program. Let’s tackle the most common ones.
How do I sign up for Link Up Illinois?
You don’t need to sign up for Link Up Illinois. You just need to shop with your LINK card at a participating retailer to get your benefits doubled.