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Supervalu-owned Jewel-Osco has begun accepting applications for its “Hunger Relief Grant Program,” which was designed to fund the operational needs of food pantries and soup kitchens.
“Food pantries and soup kitchens are a lifeline to many families during these difficult economic times,” said Jewel-Osco president Keith Nielsen. “Hunger relief is a key part of our community partnership agenda. We know these funds will be put to good use.”
Now in its second year, the $300,000 block grant program is conducted in partnership with three “Feeding America” area food banks, including the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD), the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) and the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana (FBNI).
Qualified agencies can apply for grants of up to $2,500 that are designed to improve their operational efficiency and maximize their existing resources. Among the funding possibilities, the grant program offers a food credit of up to $750, which is administered directly through the food banks.
Grant application forms will be available online through the GCFD, NIFB and FBNI Web sites. The food banks will also mail the applications directly to pantries that are current members. Agencies have until Aug. 14 to submit a completed grant request by mail. Grants will be awarded in November.
Last year, the Hunger Relief Grant Program provided more than 100 pantries with funding to buy equipment such as stoves, refrigerators, shelving and sorting tables. The program also provided funding for the transportation and delivery of food supplies.
For more information about this year’s grant program and how to request funding, local pantries and soup kitchens can look for details online or call their local food banks.
Jewel-Osco operates 185 stores in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana. Supervalu is based in Eden Prairie, Minn.