Shopper spotlight: Advocating for food access

11/18/2020

Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 54 million people may experience food insecurity in 2020. "People who never thought they'd experience food insecurity are now seeking food assistance," says Luis Guardia, president of the Food Research & Action Center. 

1 in 10 people in Illinois struggle with hunger, and nearly 4 in 10 Illinois households on SNAP have children. That’s why Green City Market welcomes and matches Link (a.k.a SNAP or EBT) dollar-for-dollar up to $15 per customer, doubling the purchasing power of those in our community who need it most. 

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In 2019, GCM served over 900 customers across 55 different zip codes in Chicago with our Link double value program. In 2020, we're facing a challenge like no other in our fight to provide Chicagoans facing food insecurity with nutritious, local foods. 

"We get most of our food at Green City Market," shares Ginger, a GCM shopper who uses Link to get groceries for herself and her family. Ginger is a local food lover, a graduate student, and a mom. Making trips to Green City Market became important to Ginger as she and her family “started revamping even more the way we eat.” 

“I wanted to get farm-fresh food, and I wanted [our food] to have that nutritionally-dense impact for my son who has dealt with different health issues,” Ginger explains. “I’d rather take food from Wisconsin and Illinois than California, Brazil, and the rest.” 

“It’s more than just us coming to buy food,” Ginger comments. “I have formed relationships with the farmers. It’s a very different dynamic between being able to see the people who have grown the food that you are getting — that consumer relationship is very different from a grocery store. I appreciate that part about Green City Market as well: knowing the farmer.” 

While the USDA has yet to authorize farmers markets to process Link online, GCM got creative. With the end of our outdoor farmers market season in sight, we recently launched a new way for customers to participate in GCM's Link matching program and pre-order online so they can access safe and convenient curbside pick-up all winter long. 

Your support is urgently needed to ensure Chicagoans like Ginger and her son can continue to safely access highly nutritious, locally-grown food from Green City Market's 57 local farmers and vendors. Please, give a tax-deductible donation today to create lasting solutions to get healthy food into the homes of families that need it most.

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