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Illinois Grocery Initiative

The Illinois Grocery Initiative, authorized by Public Act 103-0561, is intended to address inadequate access to fresh foods, especially in “food deserts”. Food deserts are defined as census tracts meeting specific criteria related to poverty and access to fresh foods.  Food deserts may exist in both urban and rural areas.

The Illinois Grocery Initiative includes the following components:

Equipment Upgrades Grant Program

  • The Illinois Grocery Initiative Equipment Upgrades Grant Program will provide grants for energy-efficient equipment upgrades for existing independently owned for-profit grocery stores, cooperative grocery stores, or not-for-profit grocery stores.
  • Grantees will be selected through a competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) process, with priority given to those located in food insecure communities across the state.  Applications for this initial round are due March 25th at 5:00 p.m.
  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees and no more than four existing grocery stores are eligible to apply.
  • For more information on program eligibility, parameters, and how to apply, see the IGI Equipment Upgrades Grants Opportunity Page.

Grants for new grocery stores in food deserts


  • The second Illinois Grocery Initiative program offering will combat food insecurity by offering competitive grants to support the establishment of new grocery stores in food deserts. Grants will provide reimbursement to eligible applicants for both capital and non-capital costs associated with establishing sustainable grocery stores located in food deserts.

Technical Assistance for Illinois Grocery Initiative Applicants and Awardees