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SPRINGFIELD – In honor of National Farmers Day on October 12, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) and Senate Agriculture Chairman Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) are celebrating the hard work and dedication of local farmers and agricultural workers.

“While we appreciate and support farmers each and every day, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a new appreciation for the agriculture sector,” said Joyce, a fourth-generation farmer and member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “Today, we thank our farmers for their contributions to a healthier society and economy.”

On this day, Bennett and Joyce are encouraging people to show gratitude to farmers by supporting local farmers’ markets or making charitable donations to area farms.

“Farmers are passionate about the work they do, and this day is an opportunity to acknowledge the work of the men and women devoted to feeding our community,” said Bennett, who spends the harvest season helping out on his family's farm in Gibson City. “This is the perfect time to thank farmers young and old, past and present."

The lawmakers are also recognizing the dedicated animals that work alongside farmers every day and help them with daily tasks, such as plowing the field, transporting food and cultivating the soil, especially during the busy harvest season.

As harvest season progresses across the state and farmers face additional stressors, Bennett encourages farmers to sign up for a webinar to learn ways to manage stress. The webinar will be led by the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development on Oct. 14 from 8:30-9:30 a.m. To register, visit tinyurl.com/harveststress.

Category: Press Releases

tapwater 030719SOUTH WILMINGTON – The Village of South Wilmington will receive $162,000 in funding to improve the community’s drinking water quality as part of this year’s state budget for capital infrastructure improvements, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) announced Thursday.

“Maintaining a clean, reliable supply of drinking water is crucial for our rural communities,” said Joyce. “This funding comes at a critical time as we continue to mitigate the public health and financial impacts of COVID-19. This investment puts our community on track toward a modernized water infrastructure.”

To make sure every resident has reliable access to safe, high quality water, the Village plans to use the funding to replace water valves, meters and ion exchange equipment. 

“The Village of South Wilmington is receiving $162,000 towards the rebuild of its water treatment plant to ensure safe drinking water for its residents for many years to come,” said South Wilmington Mayor Richard Alderson. “The Village is very appreciative of this funding as the unexpected cost was a severe hardship on the residents of South Wilmington.”

Category: Press Releases

Flu shot with maskPARK FOREST – As flu season nears, State Senator Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) is encouraging all Illinoisans, but especially older adults, to get a flu vaccine.

“Getting a flu shot this fall will be more important than ever as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19,” Joyce said. “With flu season fast approaching, I am asking all residents to get a flu shot to help keep our community safe and healthy this winter.”

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, older adults and people with chronic health issues are more likely to develop serious complications resulting from an influenza infection. While flu seasons are variable in their severity, people 65 years and older tend to be the most vulnerable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in adults 65 years and older.

Most insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid, cover one flu shot per flu season. It is always advisable to consult a health care provider before seeking medical treatment. Find a vaccine provider near you with Vaccine Finder.

Category: Press Releases

Webinar Flyer DCEO Suburban JoycePARK FOREST— To help businesses navigate the application process for the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) program, State Senator Patrick Joyce is urging business owners across the south suburbs to attend a free, informative webinar hosted by the Illinois Department of Economic Opportunity on Monday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m.

“The BIG program will help our local businesses move one step closer to financial stability,” Joyce said. “I urge business owners to join this informative webinar to ensure they are completing their applications correctly and taking full advantage of available grants.”

Registration is required. Interested participants can click here to register.

Applications for Round 2 of the BIG program were launched last week. The latest round has allocated $220 million in assistance for movie theatres, performing arts venues, concert venues and other hard-hit businesses to help them stay afloat through this time of crisis and ensure they have the resources to open safely in the coming months.

The intention of the second round is to provide relief for all types of small businesses, with a focus on businesses located downstate and heavily distressed industries. Of the total funding, $70 million has been set aside for businesses in economically distressed communities that have been the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

“Small businesses are the back bone of our communities,” Joyce said. “During the pandemic, they have worked tirelessly to serve our communities and keep employees and customers safe. They have gone above and beyond to support us—I urge residents to return the favor and support them, too. Shop local as often as you can and please be patient, because we are all struggling to deal with this pandemic.”

Applications to the BIG program are open and can be found on the Illinois DCEO website. Joyce urges business owners who are unable to attend the Sept. 28 webinar to visit DECO’s website to sign up for another webinar or view a prerecorded version.

Category: Press Releases

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