A local farmer's market is working to get set up with LINK

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Reporter - Kathryn DiGisi

CARTERVILLE, Ill. - Low income families will have their pick of fresh produce this season at select Farmer's Markets across Illinois.

Governor Pat Quinn wants to remind them to use the LINK Up Illinois Double Value coupon program.

It will get them double the dollar value at farmer's markets.

Lauren Reedy saw a hole in her community.

She spent months working with city officials to get a farmer's market up and running.

It has been open for two weeks now and it is thriving.

Living a healthy lifestyle is her passion.

"I'm a mom of four and we really do try and eat well, eat as much fresh and local as we can, organic as we can," said Reedy.

She knows that low-income families do not often get fresh produce like the kind you can buy at a farmer's market.

She is working to get her market set up with LINK, so more community members can learn what she preaches to her own family.

"Food doesn't come in a box. Real food doesn't come in plastic or shrink-wrapped," said Reedy.

Healthy can be expensive, and Reedy believes that every family, regardless of income, should have access to local produce.

"Getting the market set up with LINK and with vendors that are already approved with the WICK program and Farmer's Market Nutrition, all of that stuff, really makes it a community event. Because our community is not made of one kind of people. It's not made of one demographic," said Reedy.

Reedy says that getting set up with LINK is a lengthy process, but it is worth it to her to see families enjoying farm fresh foods at a low price.

There is still a chance for people to use their LINK Up account in Southern Illinois.

The Farmer's Market in Carbondale's weekly Friday Night Fair is already set up with LINK.

And the Carbondale Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings in the Westown Shopping Center has a few farmers who are set up with LINK, but it is not market-wide.

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