Urbana’s Market at the Square, one of Illinois’ largest farmers markets, has received a grant from LINK Up Illinois to double the value of food purchases made with the Illinois LINK Card at the Market. The Illinois Link card provides SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) benefits to eligible residents in Illinois. The $5,000 “Double Value” grant will allow Urbana’s Market at the Square to underwrite produce and other food sales for Market patrons receiving LINK benefits and using the card at the Market for up to $20 per Market day.
How the LINK token system works:
The patron brings their LINK card to the City tent, located at the northwest entrance to the Market.
The card is swiped for the desired amount at the City's wireless terminal.
Upon approval, the patron receives the desired amount in Market Scratch - wooden tokens for LINK purchases. LINK tokens are worth $1.00 each.
Beginning July 18th: The Market will MATCH that amount at no additional cost, up to $20 per Market day through the end of the Market season or as long as funding remains available.
Patron goes into the Market and spends their Market Scratch at vendor booths selling LINK-eligible foods within the main Market space.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Most of our vendors don't accept LINK cards on their own. Market Scratch enables patrons receiving LINK benefits to purchase locally-produced foods directly from the vendors at the Market using their LINK cards.
Does every vendor accept LINK?
Only vendors selling LINK-eligible foods will accept LINK Market Scratch. Community groups selling merchandise DO NOT accept Market Scratch.
Does it cost anything to use LINK for Market Scratch?
There is no charge whatsoever for LINK transactions.
Do I get change back for my LINK tokens?
Change cannot be given for LINK tokens, so the purchase is rounded up or down as appropriate by the vendor.
What happens if I don't spend all my LINK tokens? Can I use it the following week?
Extra Market Scratch can be used week-to-week and season-to-season.