"I don't think most people are aware you can do this": GCM Linking Up for Food Access

12/18/2019

Patricia is just one of the 900+ Chicagoans that use Illinois Link benefits to shop at Green City Market and participate in our Link matching program, where we welcome and match Link benefits dollar-for-dollar up to $15 per market day, doubling the impact of great food for those who need it most. Green City Market serves over 900 Chicagoans from 55 different zip codes (that’s over half!) through our Link matching program. Donate today to grow support for Chicagoans like Patricia and expand access to healthy, local, sustainable food for all. 


Patricia has been shopping with Green City Market for a decade. “There’s nothing like Green City Market,” she remarked on her experience. Patricia uses Illinois Link benefits to get her groceries and has struggled to find affordable, nutritious food, especially after being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. “I came as close as you can get to being on the street,” Patricia shared with our team, “My life turned upside down... Green City Market’s Link matching program is one of the breaks that kept me from falling all the way to the bottom.” 

“When I was first diagnosed with my autoimmune disease, they told me to eat as many organic vegetables as possible and eliminate as many chemicals from my house as possible—and that’s when I first started coming to Green City Market. I was able to work with Tomato Mountain, one of GCM’s vendors, to use my food stamps to get a CSA. That way, I got fresh, organic vegetables delivered to my home. So Green City Market has truly been a life-saver for me.” 

“I was finally able to get my autoimmune disease in remission. Without GCM’s Link match program, none of this would have happened—none of it. GCM’s Link match program allows me to get some of the things I need at prices I can afford… The program has allowed me to handle my disease and eat healthfully.” 

“I don’t think most people are aware you can do this. Also, I think people don’t realize that food stamps are used largely for children and seniors, like myself, because kids and seniors are at the two ends of the spectrum where you need good food, but you can’t necessarily get it.” 

“We have people who are hungry in this city... Just the other day coming home from the market, I shared food out of my bags with someone who did not have food. The market provides the ability for people like me to get awesome food. With the Link matching program, it allows people who have a lower income to get the same quality fruit and vegetables as those people with a higher income.”  

*Interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.


If Patricia can share her food to help those without access to healthy, locally-sourced food (or any food at all), can you consider a gift to nourish even more Chicagoans in need?

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