Illinois

Federal Policy Efforts (State-specific)

IFF

IFF used HFFI financing to establish the Healthy Food Access Program to finance both forprofit and nonprofit grocery stores in areas without access to fresh and healthy food. To date, IFF’s HFFI eligible investments have resulted in the creation over 147,000 ft2 of real estate acquired and/or rehabbed in 9 USDA food deserts in IL, IA, IN, WI, and MO. IFF has developed a unique fresh food financing program to provide essential capital to support the development of retail grocery stores in low-access areas to meet a broad spectrum of financing needs for grocery store developers and operators. In the past year, IFF has also provided HFFI financing to nonprofits, such as a school and health museum, to support these organizations efforts to promote healthy eating/fresh food through education, outreach, and programming through a demonstration kitchen and a farmers market exhibition. IFF’s HFFI financing activities and projects have advanced broader place-based strategies including the Chicago Housing Authority’s Plan for Transformation’s Oakwood Shores redevelopment (Bronzeville Mariano’s). Given the high rates of diet related disease and obesity in the low-income communities that IFF serves, a core element of IFF program design is to require grocers to lead and/or support local efforts to promote healthy eating and lifestyle habits. IFF projects in Illinois have helped renovate or open grocery stores such as Saver's Fresh Market Roseland, Lena’s Food Market, Pogue’s Run Grocer, IRE-Foods, and Pershing King Drive LLC. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

Note: IFF is a CDFI headquartered in Illinois that is using HFFI financing in Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

​​​​​​​Emerson Park Development Corporation

The Emerson Park Development Corporation is using HFFI financing to create a supermarket in the Vieux Carre Shopping Plaza in a part of East Saint Louis, Illinois, that is underserved by grocery stores. The 14,535-square-foot supermarket will increase healthy food access for thousands of local and rural consumers. The project will create 24 jobs, of which 18 will be reserved for low-income individuals. These jobs will provide livable wages with benefits and career development opportunities. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CED Program

Chicago Community Loan Fund

Chicago Community Loan Fund (CCLF) is using HFFI financing to fund a pipeline of projects that include innovative approaches to food production such as urban farms, creative additions to food processing such as business incubators, and the addition of distribution centers such as farmers markets and supermarkets in underserved areas.  One project is the TurkeyChop in Chicago, Illinois, a restaurant that makes a difference in communities of color that lack healthy choices by providing leaner meat options with less fat and salt. You can find more information here.

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program

State & Local Policy Efforts

Illinois Fresh Food Fund

In 2007 the Illinois Food Marketing Task Force, convened by Voices for Illinois Children, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, the Illinois Food Retailers Association, and The Food Trust, met to develop recommendations to overcome the barriers to supermarket and other fresh food retail access that plagues many communities throughout the state.  This effort gave way to the Illinois Fresh Food Fund, a statewide grocery financing program designed to increase access to healthy foods in underserved communities in Illinois. This new program was one of the 10 policy recommendations put forth by the Task Force.

Governor Pat Quinn announced the launch of the new fund in 2012. The state worked with IFF, a community development financial institution (CDFI), to administer the program and provide initial funding for the initiative in the form of a $10-million grant. An additional $3 million in funding was secured by IFF through the national Healthy Food Financing Initiative.

In addition to healthy food retail, the program supports community engagement programs, including efforts to improve nutrition education, and nonprofits focused on healthy food production, distribution, access and education in underserved communities count on us for the capital solutions and real estate services they need to maintain, equip, improve, and expand their facilities. The program is modeled after the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative, the New York Healthy Food and Healthy Communities Fund, and similar programs across the country. For more information, go to the Illinois Fresh Food Fund.

For a full understanding of Healthy Food Financing Initiatives from advocacy to implementation, see The Food Trust’s Healthy Food Financing Handbook.

To find examples of other federal, state, and local policy information -- as well as financing opportunities -- by going to Find Money & Policy Efforts by State.