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Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Mon Jun 27, 2016

Illinois Expands Reach Of Summer Meal Programs, But 686,000 Kids Still Missing Out

More low-income Illinois children are participating in summer meal programs, but there are still nearly 686,000 eligible kids missing out, a new report shows.

About 112,000 low-income Illinois children received summer meals on a daily basis last July, according to the report by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), a national anti-hunger group.

That figure represents a 4.7 percent increase from July 2014, when about 107,000 low-income Illinois children accessed summer meal programs each day.

While advocates are pleased by the 4.7 percent increase, they point out that summer meals are reaching only one in seven low-income Illinois children who need them.

PI Original
by Ellyn Fortino
Wed Aug 21, 2013

Experts: New Chicago Food Desert Numbers Not As 'Rosy' As Emanuel Says

Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that the population of food deserts in Chicago declined 21 percent over the past two years thanks to 15 new grocery stores, additional farmers markets and more produce carts. But those working on the ground to combat food-access issues in Chicago say the new numbers are not as sweet as they appear.

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
Thu Apr 25, 2013

Hundreds Strike For Higher Wages In Chicago's Fast Food And Retail Industries (VIDEO)

It’s impossible to survive on $8.75 per hour, says Latasha Anderson, 31, an employee of Macy’s on Michigan Ave. in downtown Chicago. She was one of three retail associates from her store to participate yesterday in a citywide fast food and retail workers’ strike that prompted hundreds of employees to walk off the job.

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
Wed Jul 25, 2012

Increased Link Acceptance At Farmers' Markets Creates Windfall For Local Farms & Credit Card Users

A federal grant could double the number of Illinois farmers markets that accept electronic payments, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced Tuesday.

During a conference call, Simon said 41 Illinois farmers markets will each receive $1,200 from the Illinois Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Wireless Project. The money comes from a $4 million initiative by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) use at farmers markets.

Quick Hit
by Michael Sandler
Tue Jul 3, 2012

Link Access At Illinois Farmers Markets To Go Wireless

A $182,000 federal grant from the United States Department of Agriculture could provide up to 150 Illinois farmers’ markets with free wireless machines that accept debit, credit and Link cards.

The Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) Wireless Project is aiming to expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables for Illinois’ low-income residents. Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon originally announced the plan, and Simon’s spokeswoman Kathryn Phillips told Progress Illinois that farmers markets must apply for the grant by July 9 (go here to apply). Illinois’ wireless EBT project is part of a $4 million nationwide effort by the United States Department of Agriculture to increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) use at farmers’ markets.