Our next installment in our Instagram Story Takeover series takes place tomorrow, Tuesday, June 29th. Champaign Farmers Market will be taking over all day tomorrow to take us through their process ahead of their Tuesday Market in Downtown Champaign. This farmers market and the C-U Indoor Farmers Market are operated by The Land Connection.

Follow us at @SmilePolitely on Instagram to follow along with this installment of our Story Takeover series. Check them out @cufarmersmarkets on Instagram — give them a follow as well if you don't already. Head over to our Instagram Highlight section to see our previous installments we've done in the past.

From the Land Connection:

The Champaign Farmers Market takes place every Tuesday from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the parking lot at Neil & Washington in downtown Champaign. This year, the Market will operate from May 18 – October 26. While it is a small Market, the vendors offer a large swath of local food and farm products, including,meat, poultry, eggs, vegetables, fruit, microgreens, baked goods, bread, desserts, flowers, cbd and herbal products, dog treats, food trucks, and more! Check below for the list of market vendors each week on our website.

If you want to stay on top of all that the Champaign-Urbana farmers market and local food scene has to offer make sure to sign up for our weekly local food and market newsletter “The CUrrant” and follow Champaign-Urbana Farmers Markets on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for regular updates from the Champaign Farmers Market, as well as the Champaign-Urbana Winter Farmers Market and other farmers markets in Champaign County.

Universal LINK Match Incentive Program

New this year, the Champaign Farmers Market is partnering with the City of Urbana, which operates Urbana’s Market at the Square, and Common Ground Food Co-op on a Universal LINK Match Incentive Program. The Program in Champaign-Urbana provides SNAP shoppers that use LINK benefits at our farmers markets, as well as those that received P-EBT cards as part of their child’s COVID relief, increased food budgets and year-round access to healthy, fresh, local food. In addition to helping our food-insecure community members, the program supports local farmers and food producers and greatly benefits our local economy.

The Universal LINK Match Program allows shoppers to swipe either of the Markets and use the same tokens and vouchers to buy products at either market.

  • Double LINK Days – Every week you can double the value of your LINK or P-EBT card for up to $20 (swiped). This means if you swipe for $20, you’ll receive $20 in tokens for all SNAP-eligible items and $20 in vouchers to use on fresh LOCAL fruits and vegetables at either market and Common Ground Food Co-op.

  • Triple LINK Days – On the third market of each month, you can TRIPLE the value of your LINK or P-EBT card for up to $20 (swiped). This means if you swipe for $20, you’ll receive $20 in tokens for all SNAP-eligible items and $40 in vouchers to use on fresh LOCAL fruits and vegetables at either market and Common Ground Food Co-op. Urbana’s Market at the Square will offer their Triple LINK Day on the third Saturday of each month, which the Champaign Farmers Market offers it on the third Tuesday of the month.

Plus, you can use your LINK or P-EBT card at both of the Triple LINK Days to really increase your food budget.

To participate in these programs, bring your LINK card to the Champaign Farmers Market and visit The Land Connection table located on the North side of the market by the entrance. A representative from TLC will be able to help you with your transaction, as well as answer any questions you may have about using your benefits at the Market.

Kids Kits

Last year’s Kid’s Kits were so successful that we’ve been working with new partners to expanding the program this year. This year, you’ll be able to pick up a Kid’s Kit at the Champaign-Urbana Winter Farmers Market and the Champaign Farmers Market from March through December. Each kit will have all of the ingredients to make that month’s dish, a recipe card, and a link to the recipe and accompanying video on our website. You can also watch the YouTube videos on The Land Connection’s YouTube Channel.

Each kit features local, in-season produce or products that can be purchased at the farmers market so that kids learn about seasonality and how to prepare local food. It also creates a great opportunity to engage kids in the kitchen through a family-centric activity.

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With the global pandemic slowly loosening its grip on the world, especially here in the U.S., we hope that the lessons learned about the food system will continue to inspire our community to support local farmers and food businesses when they can. One of the best ways you can do that is by shopping at your local farmers market.

Top image from The Land Connection.