Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund
The Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund calls for a $500,000 state investment to double the amount that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants have available to spend on healthy food at farmers markets and other direct producer-to-consumer venues. Great news: The Illinois Fiscal Year 2022 budget included the $500,000 appriation to the Department of Human Services for purposes of this Fund!
The impact of COVID-19 has increased the need for food assistance to help Illinois families, with unemployment spiking and food pantries seeing unprecedented need across the state. The COVID-19 pandemic’s impact demonstrated just how important it is to maintain a flexible, adaptive, and diversified local food supply chain that can more easily respond to national and global market disruptions. It also revealed racial disparities in health and social conditions. It’s more critical than ever that Illinois invest in its local farmers and increase access to healthy food for low-income communities.
The Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund bill was signed into law in 2017 and updated in 2018 (Public Act 100-0636). The appropriation will help to expand access to SNAP (LINK) Match programs at farmers markets across the state this year and beyond!