SNAP

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

About 260,000 low-income Illinois residents were in danger of losing food stamp privileges early next year.

But the administration of Governor Bruce Rauner has applied for a federal waiver to continue their access through 2017.

Diane Doherty, with the Illinois Hunger Coalition, says Illinois was one of 11 states eligible because it’s so hard to find a job.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Illinois is still without a budget after the last legislative session ended last week. Here's what that means for LINK card recipients shopping at farmer’s markets:

There are about 450,000 SNAP beneficiaries within the WNIJ listening area, according to Illinois Human Services data. That’s about a quarter of all recipients within the state.

Now, more and more farmers markets in the area are starting to allow those residents to pay with their LINK cards. That includes DeKalb’s market, which is in its fifth year of accepting LINK.

A regional food bank says a reduction in federal food assistance comes at the worst possible time for families struggling to get by.