From Illinois Department of Agriculture
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - When the Illinois Products Farmers' Market (IPFM) opens this week on the Illinois State Fairgrounds, for the first time the popular, evening market will have a title sponsor.
"I'm excited to announce a new partnership with Springfield Clinic," Market Manager Kristi Jones said. "Springfield Clinic is widely respected for the quality of its care and its support will greatly enhance the quality of the market as well. Through this partnership, the market will be able to expand the entertainment and special programming it offers, adding to the experience that our customers have come to enjoy in the market's first four years."
Physicians and staff from Springfield Clinic will offer market-goers weekly health screenings, as well as educational programs related to nutrition, fitness and wellness, throughout the summer.
"There's no question that good, nutritious foods, especially when locally-grown, are the foundation of our health and wellness," Geoff Bland, MD, a family medicine physician at Springfield Clinic, said. "We are very pleased to support the Illinois Products Farmers' Market and look forward to a market season filled with healthy foods, as well as educational and entertaining activities."
"Expanding access to locally-grown fresh foods will promote healthier eating habits and lifestyles," Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, who chairs the Governor's Rural Affairs Council, added. "With over 95 percent of our food purchased from outside Illinois, buying local foods can also boost our economy and create sustainable jobs."
In addition to fresh produce, the market offers the public a chance to buy a variety of other products that are either produced or processed in Illinois, including meat, eggs, honey, bakery items, herbs, plants, flowers and even wine.
Beginning this week, the market will be held every Thursday evening through Oct. 18, except during the Illinois State Fair (Aug. 9 and Aug. 16). It will be located, as in years past, in the Commodities Pavilion across the street from the Grandstand. The hours are from 4 to 7 p.m.
IPFM vendors accept Senior and WIC farmers' market coupons. They also accept LINK cards issued through the federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) program.
Thanks to a LINK UP Illinois grant the market has obtained, LINK cardholders will be able to "double the value" of their LINK transactions up to $10 each market night. LINK UP Illinois is a program of Experimental Station, in partnership with Wholesome Wave and the Illinois Farmers Market Association.
For more information about the market, including a list of vendors and their products, musical entertainment and other activities, go to http://www.illinoisproductmarket.com/. For a detailed listing of the Springfield Clinic health screens and educational features, visit www.SpringfieldClinic.com/IPFM.