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Gov. Pritzker announces $28.8 million in USDA grants to provide free local food to communities


PEORIA, Ill. — Governor JB Pritzker announced $28.8 million in grant funding to provide free locally-produced food to vulnerable communities. The grants are being awarded to organizations in Illinois in partnership with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement will allow the State of Illinois to purchase food directly from socially disadvantaged farmers at fair market value. Food will then be distributed by providers, including food banks, farming collaboratives, and other non-profits, to communities in need at no cost. This includes schools, churches, and non-profit organizations. The funds originated through two cooperative agreements with the United States Department of Agriculture.

"Food access is fundamental to healthy and prosperous communities," said Governor JB Pritzker. "Thanks to the cooperation and support of the United States Department of Agriculture, the Illinois Eats Program is dispersing nearly $29 million in grant funding to fifteen food organizations serving families across our state. Illinois Eats is lifting up both ends of Illinois' food supply chain — from our farmers to our most food-insecure residents."

Read the full release and learn about Illinois Extension’s involvement.

Illinois Equitable Access Toward Sustainable Systems funded by LFPA

Producers and non-profits interested in participating in the program can learn more by visiting the Illinois Eats topic on the Illinois Extension website. Eligible products include fruits, vegetables, meat proteins, eggs, dairy products, grains, and other minimally processed items. A complete list is available. 


About Extension

Illinois Extension leads public outreach for University of Illinois by translating research into action plans that allow Illinois families, businesses, and community leaders to solve problems, make informed decisions, and adapt to changes and opportunities. Illinois Extension is part of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.