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Tryon fresh fruits and vegetables bill goes to Senate

Staff writer |
Illinoisans who rely on public assistance programs may soon be able to use their benefits to gain better access to fresh fruits and vegetables at farmers markets throughout Illinois.

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HB 6027, sponsored by State Representative Mike Tryon (R-Crystal Lake), would allow Illinois to participate in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Nutrition Incentive Program, and would enable low-income citizens to use their SNAP benefits or LINK cards at farmers markets for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables.

“Today we have 500 farmers markets in Illinois, but only 68 of them accept LINK cards,” said Tryon.

“The provisions of my bill will allow public assistance benefits to be used all over the state at farmers markets, and incentivize lower income citizens to purchase healthy foods.”

According to Tryon, if approved and signed into law, HB 6027 would also allow Illinois to take advantage of $100 million in federal funds that have been earmarked for healthy foods programs.

“In some parts of the state, people’s access to fresh fruits and vegetables is limited,” said Tryon. “My hope is that this legislation will prompt more farmers markets to open throughout Illinois so that more and more people can have better access to healthier food choices.”

HB 6027 will be heard in the Illinois Senate when lawmakers return to Springfield in May.