Gov. Pritzker Announces $3.5M Available in Grants for Local Grocers to Preserve Access to Fresh Food

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Governor JB Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) announced $3.5 million in available grant funding for local grocers through the Equipment Upgrades Program as part of the Illinois Grocery Initiative. These grants will provide funding for energy-efficient equipment upgrades for existing grocery stores, with priority given to those located in food insecure communities across the state. Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process. The Equipment Upgrades Program is the first program rolled out as part of the Illinois Grocery Initiative’s multi-pronged efforts to combat food insecurity by supporting local grocers and combatting food deserts. Additional funding opportunities for new municipal and independent grocery stores will be announced to the public soon. Under the Equipment Upgrades Program, eligible grocers may be eligible to receive grants for the following equipment upgrades:

• Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment

• Refrigeration units and freezers

• Lighting systems

• Other systems providing significant energy savings

Applications for this round of grants will be accepted until March 4, 2024, at 5:00 p.m. To view the NOFO and apply for the grant, please visit the DCEO website. To help applicants prepare to apply for funding, DCEO will be holding a webinar at 10 a.m. on January 31 and a webinar at 2 p.m. on February 8. Interested parties are encouraged to reach out to for application assistance.

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