National Farmers' Market Week & LINK Triple Match
The Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market joins markets across the country in celebrating National Farmers Market Week from August 4-10, 2019. To celebrate, the Bloomington Public Library will be doing a family friendly cooking demo at 10 a.m. on August 10th on the corner of Main and Jefferson Street. You can also enjoy triple the value you can receive off your LINK card at the Market this week! Celebrate the market’s 10th anniversary of being able to provide services to LINK customers at the market with Triple Match. This Triple Match program was only made possible through Green Top Grocery's Round Up Program. The LINK match program is made possible through a grant from LINK UP Illinois, a program of the Experimental Station.
As demand for local food continues to grow, so too have the opportunities for America’s farmers to market fresh food directly to the consumer. According to statistics recently released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), farmers markets and farm stands account for roughly $2 billion of the $3 billion that Americans spend annually on farm-direct products. This revenue, in turn, supports the livelihoods of more than 165,000 mostly small and mid-sized farms and ranches.
The Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market began in 1997, and currently an average of 35 weekly vendors selling a wide variety of products ranging from fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, baked goods, skin care items, and art. The Farmers’ Market became producer-only in 2006 which means the customers can talk with the person who grew, created, or made the item they sell at the market.
“We are proud to be one of the first farmers’ markets in the state to accept LINK and to celebrate our 10th anniversary of this milestone with a Triple Match program,” says Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market Manager Catherine Dunlap.
The Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market became the first downstate market in Illinois to accept Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly food stamps, in 2009 thanks in part to a grant from State Farm Bank. This idea was the result of research done by Illinois Wesleyan Alumni Danny Burke and multiple volunteers. Since 2009, $120,500 of benefits have been received by LINK customers at the Farmers’ Market.
“Farmers markets play a vital role not just in generating real income for farmers, but in forming a healthy, prosperous food system,” says Jen Cheek, Program Director of the Farmers Market Coalition. “By providing the opportunity for farmers to connect directly with consumers, markets serve as education centers. Vendors are teaching customers about agriculture and sharing recipes and new foods with their neighbors. Markets are making people and communities stronger and healthier.”
The Downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market is a year-round, producer-only farmers market located in the heart of Downtown Bloomington. The outdoor season is held from 7:30 am - 12 pm every Saturday from May 4 through October 26, 2019 around the McLean County Museum of History. In addition, an indoor season will be held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving 2019 and then every third Saturday starting December 2019 through April 2020 at the Grossinger Motors Arena, 101 S. Madison Street. The Market is governed by the Downtown Bloomington Association and managed in a partnership with the City of Bloomington. For more information, check out our website, http://downtownbloomington.org/farmers-market/ or follow us on social media:
Facebook – DowntownBloomingtonFarmersMarket
Instagram - @bloomingtonmarket