Link Match


  • All eligible EBT items go towards the accrual of vouchers.

  • You don't have to sign up or give out any personal information.

  • Anyone with a Link card can participate. 

  • Vouchers do not expire.

  • Please let us know when you get to the registers if you will be using vouchers!
  • Contact with any questions about this program. 




More About the Program

Common Ground Food Co-op is excited to participate in the Link Match incentive program, which allows individuals and families who are part of SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) an opportunity to increase their buying power. We are always looking for ways to make shopping at the Co-op more affordable and inclusive of the whole community. By partnering with Experimental Station, we are able to participate in the Link Match program that helps more people gain access to healthy local produce and helps more local farmers strengthen their businesses.


With generous support from the USDA's Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive, the Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program, and other corporate, city and private funding sources, Experimental Station's Link Up Illinois program enables Illinois farmers markets, farm stands, food co-ops, and independent grocery stores to double the value of purchases for shoppers using their Link cards, giving customers greater buying power towards fresh, locally produced foods.


Experimental Station works with local organizations, such as the Co-op, to draw awareness, educate, and launch programs like Link Match to allow low-income families greater accessibility for healthier options. Not only does Link Match create opportunities for more affordable nutritious foods, but it also rebuilds linkages between local agricultural producers and consumers. Experimenal Station also provides participating markets and stores with training, materials, and technical assistance for implementing these programs successfully.


Learn more about Experimental Station & Link Up Illinois


What items are eligible for EBT?

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Meat, poultry, and fish
  • Dairy products 
  • Any other food item such as breads, cereals, canned goods, snack foods, and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Seeds and plants


What items are not eligible for EBT?

  • Beer, wine, liquor, CBD products
  • Vitamins, medicines and supplements. If an item has a Supplement Facts label, it is considered a supplement and is not eligible for EBT  purchase.
  • Food that is made-to-order from our Cafe counter.
  • Any nonfood items such as pet foods, cleaning supplies, paper products, hygiene items, and cosmetics.


What items are eligible for Link Match vouchers?


  • All fresh, locally grown fruits, vegetables, and edible plants (such as basil or mint). All eligible items in our produce section have a special sign that indicates if it is Link Match eligible.  
  • Local items found in the produce section such as nuts, seeds, juice, smoothies, ornamental plants & cut flowers are not eligible for Link Match vouchers.



Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Can I use the purple Link Match vouchers that I got at the Farmer’s Market?

A: Starting May 1st, 2023, Common Ground will no longer accept the purple vouchers that are distributed at the farmer’s market. Those purple vouchers can only be used at the Urbana Farmer’s Market, the Champaign Farmer’s Market, and the Urban Winter Indoor Farmer’s Market.


Q: Can I use the Link Match vouchers I got at Common Ground at the Farmer’s Market?

A: Link Match vouchers that are distributed through Common Ground can only be used at Common Ground.


Q: Do I have to swipe my Link Card ahead of time like at the farmer’s market?

A: Nope! You can go about your regular shopping, pay at the register using your Link Card, and at the end of your transaction you will receive up to $25 in Link Match vouchers.


Q: Is there a limit to how many vouchers I can use?

A: Nope! You can use as many Link Match vouchers as you’d like to pay for fresh, local produce.


Q: Can I use vouchers I just accrued to pay for my transaction?

A: No, you must use them on a separate transaction. You must accrue the vouchers on one transaction, and then use them on a second transaction.


Q: If I use my Link match vouchers to pay for local produce, and then use my EBT card to pay for the rest of my purchase, will I accrue more vouchers?

A: No, if you are using vouchers to pay for a portion of your transaction, you will not accrue more vouchers even if you are paying for the rest of your purchase with EBT. Vouchers cannot be accrued and redeemed in the same transaction.


Q: Do Link Match vouchers expire?

A: Beginning in November of 2023, Link Match vouchers do not expire! If you have vouchers that contain an expiration date, you can still use them to get free, fresh local produce.