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Link, credit cards now accepted by many Oak Park Farmers’ Market vendors

Submitted by admin on Friday, 30 December 2011No Comment

 Link, credit cards now accepted by many Oak Park Farmers’ Market vendors

Many of the Oak Park Farmers’ Market vendors now are accepting Link cards that allow individuals receiving food assistance to purchase nutritious, locally grown fruits and vegetables. as an added benefit for all patrons, most vendors that accept Link cards also will accept credit cards.

“Poor nutrition is a major problem among our country’s lower income, a situation that is complicated by the lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” said Oak Park Health Director Margaret Provost-Fyfe. “Now, area residents who rely on food assistance programs will have access to nutritious items at one of the region’s best farmers’ markets right here in Oak Park.”

Provost-Fyfe called the acceptance of the Link card a major addition to the market, noting that the steps necessary to set up the program offered the added benefit of allowing patrons to use a credit card at most of the same vendor stalls that accept Link.

“Beyond the obvious benefit to Link card holders is the convenience of a new payment option for other patrons as well,” she said. “Paying by credit card seems to be the trend for many shoppers, so it makes sense to be able to offer this option at our Farmers’ Market as well.”

Currently, 17 market vendors accept Link cards, which allow individuals participating in the federal Supplemental Nutrition assistance Program (SNAP) to access their benefits with a card, rather than cash or food stamps. Oak Park is one of only 26 of the estimated 300-plus farmers’ markets in Illinois to offer the Link payment option.

Patrons who use a Link or credit card will choose their items and receive a receipt from the vendor that must be taken to the administration tent by the market’s main entrance where the actual transaction is completed. Purchasers then take the proof of payment back to the vendor and pick up their items.

The Oak Park Farmers’ Market is held from 7 a.m. – 1 p.m. every Saturday from mid-May through October in the Pilgrim Congregational Church parking lot, 460 Lake St., one block west of Ridgeland Avenue. More information on the market is posted at www.oak-park.us/farmersmarket.

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