Local Food Purchasing Assistance
Supporting local farmers as we feed Illinois' hungry
The Local Food Purchasing Assistance program is an opportunity to unite Illinoisans invested in building a resilient food system and build a collaborative network of food system support. This program prioritizes ensuring culturally appropriate fresh foods are available to food insecure communities.
Your input is essential
The Illinois Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services, is bringing together stakeholders to create a meaningful and sustainable model to bridge locally grown and raised products of underserved farmers and ranchers to food insecure communities. Read the full executive summary.
Attend a local listening session
To learn more about funding for the Local Food Procurement Assistance corporative agreement, please join us at one of the sessions this winter. This is an opportunity to share how you would design a sustainable local food system for Illinois.
- March 22
Register | River Bend Food Bank, 876 W. Main St., Galesburg
- April 4
Register | Kankakee Community College. Iroquois Room, D152. 100 College Drive, Kankakee
- April 6
Register | Go Green Community Fresh Market, 1207 W. 63rd St., Chicago
Register for a virtual listening session.
- March 28 | 8:30 to 10:30 AM
- March 28 | 1 to 3 PM
- April 3 | 4:30 to 6:30 PM
Sign up for updates and announcements.
$14.4 million for Illinois over 2 years
The two-year program will involve direct purchases from eligible farmers and multiple aggregation sites where goods will be consolidated and then distributed to schools, nonprofits and foodbanks.
“Illinois is a diverse state, with agriculture as its number one industry. The Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement creates a bridge between locally grown and raised products of underserved farmers and ranchers and food insecure communities and provides an opportunity to unite Illinoisans invested in building a resilient food system and a collaborative network of food system support.” Jerry Costello, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director
Much of the $14.4 million will be used to pay farmers for their products and for the operation of the collection sites.
About the program
- Cultural foods for underserved communities will be a priority. These foods include lean proteins, such as lamb, and foods representing the diversity of Illinois residents.
- "Socially disadvantaged farmers" will be priority. The USDA definition will be the basis, but final criteria will be determined by a planning committee with input from the public.
- Illinois Extension will assist with the implementation plan after conducting several listening sessions. The plan should be determined in 2023 after the listening sessions are complete.
- Sites will be established throughout the state to coordinate the distribution of products to communities. Those interested can apply for funding summer 2023. Operations are expected to begin in October 2023 and run throughout 2024.
This information is provided on behalf of the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Illinois Department of Human Services. Please complete the interest form to receive updates.