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According to the Spotlight On Poverty & Opportunity website, about three-quarters of a million children in Illinois receive SNAP EBT benefits, formerly called food stamps. But many families may not know that SNAP EBT recipients can use their card to get more than just cash for food, soft drinks, seeds, or plants and trees that produce energy. food.
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By simply showing your SNAP EBT card, you can get discounts or free admission to museums and attractions statewide. You can’t use your perks to pay for admission, but you can save a lot of money if you know where to show your Illinois Link card for discounts.
Check out these discounts that Illinois SNAP EBT recipients may qualify for, then plan some fun fall activities for your family.
Museums across the state
Many art and history museums in Illinois offer discounted admission to SNAP recipients through Museums 4 All, a federally funded program. Some of the Illinois museums participating in the program include the Peoria Riverfront Museum, the Chicago History Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. It’s a good idea to call ahead to make sure you can still get free or discounted admission with your Link card and if there are any limits on the number of people you can bring .
Chicago’s famous Museum of Science and Industry on South Lake Shore Drive offers free admission to two adults and up to six children when you present your Link or WIC card at the entrance with photo ID . Keep in mind that admission only covers admission to the museum and does not include parking, Giant Dome Theater, Fab Lab, or other special exhibits that require their own ticket.
Wonder Works is another Chicago museum that offers fun for the whole family. A 501(c)3 organization, Wonder Works is reducing its tickets to $3 for EBT attendees as part of the Museums for All program.
In Peoria, you can enter the Peoria Playhouse Children’s Museum for just $3 if you get WIC or SNAP benefits through Museums 4 All. If you visit the museum frequently, you can purchase a membership through the Explorer program instead. If you live in the Peoria Park District, you can get a membership for two adults and any children under 18 living in the household for just $15. Membership is good for unlimited visits. Illinois residents outside of the Peoria Park District will pay $25 for the same subscription. With this membership, you’ll also get 10% off the gift shop, special member rates on events and birthday parties, and exclusive member-only hours on Tuesdays from 9am at noon.
Natural Attractions in Illinois
Illinois is home to many beautiful arboreta, parks, botanical gardens, and other natural attractions. You can get free or discounted admission to many of them, including the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden, with your Link card.
To request discounted Morton Arboretum tickets, you will need to email [email protected] up to 72 hours in advance with the date, time, and number of tickets you need (up to 8).
The Chicago Botanic Garden is offering discounted admission for one vehicle per card.
Chicago’s Adler Planetarium is offering discounted admission, which includes a show, for $1 per person for up to 8 people with a Link Card. You can also upgrade to a second show and the Atwood Sphere experience for an additional $5, according to AdlerPlanetarium.org. You must buy your tickets at the box office.
As part of the Museums For All program, Shedd Aquarium is offering $3 admission for adults and free admission for children under 17 when you book your tickets online and show your Link card at the door. Admission includes all exhibits, including the Underwater Beauty Special Exhibit and the Stingray Touch Reservoir. Visitors can upgrade to the 4D experience for $4.95 per person, according to SheddAquarium.org.
Half Price Amazon Prime
Illinois residents, as well as SNAP recipients in all 50 states, can get 50% off Amazon Prime membership. Relax with Amazon Prime’s streaming service, get free next-day or two-day shipping on many Amazon products, and enjoy prime-day and year-round specials with your 6-day subscription, $99.
Discounted telecommunications services
The federal Lifeline program offers $9.25 to help Link cardholders pay for phone or internet service. Illinois state cellphone providers that participate in Lifeline include Life Wireless, Safelink Wireless, Illinois Telephone Corporation, Yourtel America and Access Wireless, according to the FoodStampsNow.com website.
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The Affordable Connectivity Program offers SNAP EBT recipients a monthly discount of $30 on internet service, plus a $100 discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop or tablet. If you qualify for Lifeline, you will automatically qualify for the $30 ACP credit and can use both discounts simultaneously to further reduce your home broadband internet bill.
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