Brian Mackey of Illinois Public Radio reported for this story.
The number of Illinois farmers' markets that accept electronic payment is expected to double under a new federal grant. The program pays for machines that can swipe credit, debit and Link cards -- the modern version of food stamps.
Josh Dotson's family has been selling produce at farmers' markets for decades.
Dotson sells at markets that already accept Link cards, and he says it's brought new customers.
"We have some of our customers that used to not be able to buy as much," Dotson said. "Now they can buy enough vegetables because they use the Link card."
The program is meant to encourage local spending and make fresh produce available to people with low incomes.
Southern Illinois University will measure the program's affect on farmers' market sales.
Local markets already selected to participate are listed below, and include several in the St. Louis Area:
- Abundant Market - Tuscola Downtown Farmers Market (Tuscola)
- Alton Farmers' and Artisans' Market (Alton)
- Aurora Farmers Market East (Aurora)
- Bartlett Farmers Market (Bartlett)
- Bureau County Farmers Market (Princeton)
- Carbondale Community Friday Night Fairs (Carbondale)
- Central Park Farmers Market (Decatur)
- City of Mendota Farmer's Market (Mendota)
- Clark County Farmers Market (Martinsville)
- Clinton Area Farmers and Artisans Market (Clinton)
- Deerfield Farmers Market (Deerfield)
- DeKalb Farmers' Market (DeKalb)
- Discover Sycamore's Farmers Market (Sycamore)
- Elmwood Park Farmers Market (Elmwood Park)
- F.R.E.S.H. Farmers Market (East St. Louis)
- French Market (Villa Park)
- George Washington Carver Farmers Market (Chicago)
- Haymarket Square Park Farmers Market (Dixon)
- Hinsdale Farmers Market (Hinsdale)
- Hopkins Park/Pembroke Farmers' Market (Pembroke Township)
- Huntley Farmers Market (Huntley)
- La Grange Farmers Market (La Grange)
- Lincoln Square Thursday Evening Farmers Market (Chicago)
- Lockport Farmer's Market (Lockport)
- Loyola Farmers Market (Chicago)
- Main Street Farmers Market of Olney (Olney)
- Morton Grove Farmers' Market (Morton Grove)
- Northbrook Farmers Market (Northbrook)
- Old Capitol Farmers Market (Springfield)
- Oswego Country Market (Oswego)
- Palos Heights Farmers Market (Palos Heights)
- Portage Park Farmers Market (Chicago)
- Ravinia's Farmers Market (Chicago)
- Ridgeville Farmers' Market (Evanston)
- Seaway Bank Farmers Market (Chicago)
- Shelbyville Farmers Market (Shelbyville)
- Skokie's Farmers Market (Skokie)
- The Land of Goshen Community Market (Edwardsville)
- Trinity United Church of Christ Farmers Market (Chicago)
- Twin City Market (Sterling)
- Uptown Farmers Market at Weiss Memorial Hospital (Chicago)