(305 ILCS 5/12-4.50)
Healthy Local Food Incentives Program.
(a) Legislative findings. Diet and other lifestyle choices contribute to more than half of all deaths in Illinois. Health risk factors include smoking, obesity, stress, nutrition, high blood pressure, and alcohol and drug use. Illinois residents should be encouraged to adopt diets and lifestyles that lead to wellness. The State can help provide that encouragement by funding wellness programs that enhance the health of Illinois residents. Healthy local food incentives encourage wellness among some of the most vulnerable residents of Illinois (those whose incomes are below the poverty line and who often have limited access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods) by doubling the purchasing power of LINK cardholders at farmers markets across the State. The benefits of such a program include: an increase in population health, Medicaid health care cost savings, decreased incidence of preventable diseases, increased revenue for Illinois small farmers, and economic stimulus for the region.
(b) Definitions. As used in this Section:
"FINI eligible fruits and vegetables" means any variety of fresh, canned, dried, or frozen whole or cut fruits and vegetables without added sugars, fats, or oils, and salt (i.e. sodium), as defined by the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture.
"LINK card" means an electronic benefits transfer card issued by the Department of Human Services for the purpose of enabling a user of the card to obtain SNAP benefits or cash.
"SNAP" means the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.
(c) The Department of Human Services shall establish a Healthy Local Food Incentives Program to double the purchasing power of Illinois residents with limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund is created as a special fund in the State treasury for the purpose of implementing the Healthy Local Food Incentives Program. All moneys received pursuant to this Section shall be deposited into the Healthy Local Food Incentives Fund.
(d) Subject to appropriation, the Department of Human Services shall make an annual grant of $500,000 from the Fund to a qualified Illinois non-profit organization or agency, which shall be distributed to participating Illinois farmers markets for the purpose of providing matching dollar incentives (up to a specified amount) for the dollar value of SNAP benefits spent on FINI eligible fruits and vegetables at participating Illinois farmers markets and direct producer-to-consumer venues.
(e) The designated qualified non-profit organization or agency shall have a demonstrated track record of:
(1) building a statewide network;
(2) designing and implementing successful healthy
food incentive programs that connect SNAP recipients with local producers;
(3) implementing funds distribution and reporting
(4) providing training and technical assistance to
(5) conducting community outreach and data
(6) providing full accounting and administration of
funds distributed to farmers markets.
(f) 100% of the moneys deposited into the Fund shall be distributed to participating Illinois farmers markets for healthy local food incentives.
(g) Within 90 days after the end of a grant cycle, the designated qualified non-profit organization or agency shall submit a progress report to the Department of Human Services. The progress report shall include the following information:
(1) the names and locations of Illinois farmers
markets and direct producer-to-consumer venues that received funds distributed under the Program;
(2) the dollar amount of funds awarded to each
participating Illinois farmers market and direct producer-to-consumer venue;
(3) the dollar amount of SNAP benefits, and funds
provided under the Program, that were spent at Illinois farmers markets participating in the Program, as well as the dollar amount of any unspent funds available under the Program;
(4) the number of SNAP transactions carried out
annually at participating Illinois farmers markets;
(5) the impact of the Program on increasing the
quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed by SNAP families, as determined by customer surveys.
(h) No later than December 31, 2017, the Department of Human Services shall adopt rules to implement the provisions of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 99-928, eff. 1-20-17; 100-636, eff. 1-1-19