Tractor farming Agriculture 1URBANA – In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, State Senator Scott Bennett is reminding farmers and ranchers experiencing stress to take advantage of the Farm Family Resource Initiative hotline.

“It’s important for farmers to break the stigma of internalizing their stress and understand they can ask for help,” said State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “The FFRI program has already proven its success over the past couple years and has given farmers the opportunity to talk about their struggles to avoid negative consequences.”

Initiated through the legislative leadership of Senator Bennett, the Farm Family Resource Initiative started as a joint pilot program of SIU School of Medicine and the Illinois Department of Agriculture in 2019.

The SIU School of Medicine’s Center for Rural Health and Social Services Development led the effort to build a statewide network of support and resources for Illinois farm families, starting in six counties. Two years later, the program then expanded to all 102 counties thanks to funding from a United States Department of Agriculture grant.

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Extended Office Hours Bennett May

URBANA – State Senator Scott Bennett and his staff will be at the Urbana Free Library, located at 210 W. Green Street, on Monday, May 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for remote office hours.

“My staff and I can offer a variety of services, like help with unemployment claims, FOID cards, state resources and much more,” said Bennett (D-Champaign). “For those who do not live near my Champaign office, these events provide easier access for legislative services.”

These office hours serve as an opportunity for residents to speak directly with Bennett’s staff to receive help with casework and other issues at the state level, as well as provide informational resources.

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CHAMPAIGN — To encourage young people to continue learning during the summer, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is launching a Summer Reading Club for students in Champaign and Vermilion Counties.

“Reading through the summer months keeps children engaged,” Bennett said. “Even though school is out, participating in this reading club will keep kids sharp and creative during their summer break.”

The Summer Book Club requires students to read eight books of their choice during the summer break, record the names of the books on a form and return the form to Bennett’s office by Aug. 12. Everyone who completes the Summer Book Club will receive a gift card and certificate from Senator Bennett. 

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Were open signCHAMPAIGN – Nearly 200 businesses in Champaign and Vermilion Counties were awarded more than $8.9 million in combined funding from the Back to Business program thanks to advocacy and support from State Senator Scott Bennett.

“Our small businesses are the heart of our communities,” said Bennett (D-Champaign). “These grants are giving our local businesses a much needed boost to get back on their feet as they continue to recover.”

A total of $8.91 million was awarded to 198 businesses in the 52nd District. The B2B grants are awarded by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity using funds allocated to them by the American Rescue Plan through last year’s state budget.

DCEO has provided $250 million in B2B grants – thanks to strong support from Senator Bennett – to small businesses throughout the state, with an emphasis on hard hit sectors, such as hotels, restaurants, bars, barbershops and salons, and disproportionately impacted areas.

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Office Info

Champaign Office:
45 E. University Suite 206
Champaign, IL 61820
P: (217) 355-5252

Danville Office:
201 N. Vermilion St. Suite 323
Danville, IL 61832
P: (217) 442-5252

Springfield Office:
311C State House
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-2507