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Local Farmer Celebrates Illinois Local Food Infrastructure Grant Award Recipients Announcement.

19 local food projects receive a share of $1,800,000 to strengthen Illinois’ local food system.

With funding provided by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Illinois Stewardship Alliance is excited to help 19 local food projects get the funds they need to strengthen the local food system and increase access to agricultural products grown and raised in Illinois. 

The Local Food Infrastructure Grant provides farms, food business, institutions, cooperatives, and more help with investment in local food infrastructure and equipment necessary to scale up the processing, aggregation, and distribution of local food raised or grown in Illinois.

In total, 247 applicants requested over $23 million in funding from across the Prairie State.

A committee of 10 Illinois-based agriculture and food system experts reviewed the applications and identified 19 impactful local food projects with whom to provide grant awards up to $150,000 to implement their proposed projects.

A few examples of how local farmers plan to use the Local Food Infrastructure Grant to strengthen the local food system and increase access to agricultural products grown and raised in Illinois:

  • LEAF Food Hub, helping a dozen southern Illinois farms reach local communities. The $79,887.09 granted will help purchase equipment needed to reduce waste, improve farmer revenue and feed more people.

  • Terripin Farms, serving over 15 farms in Adams County. The $150,000 will allow Terripin Farms to create a value-added processing and storage facility, which will help them and many small farmers create less waste and value-added products to sell expanding local foods in Illinois, which would not be possible without the grant.

  • Allen’s Farm Quality Meats, serving farmers and ranchers since 1986. The $150,000 in funds will allow them to improve their facility and equipment, which will help increase capacity to serve additional farms in the region.

  • Just Roots, serving the South Side of Chicago and South Suburbs. The $70,000 will allow Just Roots to purchase a refrigerated delivery vehicle and expand on-site cold storage, which will help them to distribute fresh produce to community members with accessibility needs, and collaborate with other nearby farms to aggregate and distribute fresh food. 

2024 Local Food Infrastructure Grant Recipients

  • Allen’s Farm Quality Meats (Homer)

  • Central Illinois FarmFED Coop (Mt. Pulaski)

  • Demange Family Farms (St. Jacob)

  • Down at the Farms (Fairbury)

  • The Flock Farm (Anna)

  • Fuller Park Community Development DBA Eden Place (Chicago)

  • Funks Grove Heritage Fruits & Grains (Shirley)

  • Garlic Breath Farm (Elburn)

  • Illinois Country Harvest (Prairie du Rocher)

  • Jo Daviess Local Foods (Jo Daviess County)

  • Just Roots (Chicago)

  • LEAF Food Hub (Carterville)

  • Living Light Farms (Paxton)

  • Palomares Social Justice Center (Rock Island)

  • Sola Gratia Farm (Urbana)

  • Terripin Farms (Quincy)

  • Tulip Tree Gardens (Beecher)

  • Urban Acres (Peoria)

  • Urban Growers Collective (Chicago)

A special thank you to the Illinois Department of Agriculture for the financial support that made this possible, the 2024 Local Food Infrastructure Grant Review Committee for their time and dedication, our partner organizations for promotion the Local Food Infrastructure Grant, Alliance members for their ongoing support, and all of the Illinois local food producers and food business creating a healthier, more resilient food system.

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