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Growing Local Food Access w/JDLF Gives


Exciting things are happening to increase access to local food and to help more people in need overcome food insecurity. A few weeks ago, Jo Daviess Local Foods became one of 15 organizations in the state of Illinois that will receive a Local Food Purchasing Assistance (LFPA) grant! The grants are being awarded in partnership with the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Department of Human Services.


LFPA will allow Jo Daviess Local Foods to purchase food directly from local socially disadvantaged farmers at fair market value. Food will then be distributed to communities in need at no cost (such as food pantries, churches, and non-profits) through JDLF's Farm to Food Pantry Program called JDLF Gives.


The Community Foundation of Jo Daviess County is the fiscal sponsor for the JDLF Gives program. The LFPA grant will provide $230,000 in funding and the opportunity to apply for additional funding for 2025. It will also mean JDLF Gives can expand to provide food to people in need in Carroll and Stephenson Counties. JDLF Gives will also be able to buy meat, dairy, and grains, from local farmers, in addition to produce.


Erin Keyser, Executive Director at JDLF said "All that money will go into our local food system, which is very exciting! The Community Foundation of Jo Daviess County was a huge part of writing this grant application. Thank you, Eric! We also had great support from Michelle DeHaven, CEO of The Foundation for Northwest Illinois. Cindy Tegtmeyer was instrumental in starting the Farm to Food Pantry Program in 2020, and now look what it has grown into! We also have an amazing group of farmers growing food for our program, and we look forward to making new connections with underserved communities in our three-county region!"


Erin's right. This is an exciting example of how the Community Foundation can help an idea like JDLF Gives grow and increase its capacity as a local food hub and resource for people in need and farmers in our region. You can read the press release here.


You can make a gift to JDLF Gives or any of the funds at the Community Foundation here on our website


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