Illinois saw an increase in the number of farmers markets accepting food stamps.
Financially, that translated into a 112-percent increase in food stamp redemptions.
The Midwest did better than any other region this year when it came to food stamp usage at farmers markets.Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio all had dramatic surges compared with last year. Likewise, Chicago experienced an increase.
Food stamps at farmers markets help low-income families.
"It’s important to increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables," said Audrey Rowe, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Many individuals who are participants in our program live in what are called food deserts. Many of them are not even aware of where they can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables."
Rowe says red tape was cut for farmers - and that led to an ease in upping the number of markets that accept food stamps.
Midwest Region Farmers Markets and Direct Marketing Farmers (DMF) Count and Redemption Data
2010 Number of Markets/DMF
2011 Number of Markets/DMF
2010 SNAP Redemptions
2011 SNAP Redemptions
2010 / 2011 Redemptions Increase %
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