Founded in 1988 as the Illinois Facilities Fund, IFF’s vision is to provide comprehensive solutions with transformational outcomes in low-income and special needs communities throughout the Midwest. While IFF has broadened its efforts across the Midwest, we have a deep commitment to our core mission: to strengthen nonprofits and the communities they serve. IFF provides nonprofit organizations with tools and resources to help communities thrive. IFF believes that every person has the right to a good education, fresh food, health care, affordable housing and to grow up in a safe, vibrant environment regardless of income level. But across the Midwest, too many low-income communities lack the building blocks to provide these essentials.
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.

Since 2012, IFF has closed 15 loans totaling $12.9 million, deployed $300,000 in grants, and committed $5 million in equity to support healthy food retail outlets serving food deserts. IFF has leveraged these investments with public and private sector resources yielding over $40 million in total community investment. 93% of projects were in USDA food deserts.  IFF deployed 8 loans totaling $8.4 million (65%) in IL and 4 loans totaling $2.7 million (21%) in MO.

HFFI Projects and Impacts

  • Harvest Market LLC, East St. Louis, IL
    • Acquisition and renovation of a 23,500 sq. ft. full-service grocery store
    • Total Project Costs: $5.5 million
    • Projected IFF Financing: $750,000 Construction/Permanent Loan
  • Pershing King Drive LLC, urban
    • 74,000 ft2 food retail space created
    • New grocery store created
  • IRE-Foods, Inc., urban
    • 24,000 ft2 food retail space created
    • New grocery store created
  • Pogue's Run Grocer, urban
    • 3,000 ft2  food retail space  supported
    • Pogue's Run Grocer is a community-owned grocery store specializing in fresh, local, and organically grown groceries.
  • F2F LLC, urban
    • 29,000 ft2 food retail space
    • New equipment purchased to keep a grocery store open
  • Green Street Development Group, LLC, urban
    • 17,678 ft2 food retail space rehabilitated
    • Older property rehabilitated into a new grocery store
  • K and S Investments, urban
    • 22,000 ft2 of retail space acquired and rehabilitated
    • Older property rehabilitated into a new grocery store
  • Saver's Fresh Market Roseland, LLC, urban
    • 57,431 ft2 food retail space supported
    • New necessary equipment purchased for grocery store
  • Lena's Food Market, urban
    • 16,000 ft2 food retail space rehabilitated
    • Older property rehabilitated into a new grocery store

Source of money: HFFI CDFI-Financial Assistance Program Fiscal Years 2011, 2012, 2013, 2016