ARPA Food Programs

Jan 5, 2024

Of the $134 Million allocated by Will County as part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, over $28 Million was dedicated to improving health outcomes for residents. The County identified grant initiatives that increased service and expanded access to local healthcare programs in the categories of food stabilization, behavioral health, violence prevention, and general health.

Throughout December, when many families were struggling financially, local organizations utilized their ARPA funding to expand their food programs. Over $3 Million was allocated to organizations in Will County to:

  • Create opportunities to expand local food networks and address barriers to food access.
  • Provide expanded food assistance or improve facilities to close the gap on food insecurity and address food deserts.
Below is a summary of four Will County organizations that expanded their food services in December thanks to ARPA funding!

National Hookup
for Black Women

National Hookup for Black Women (NHBW) was able to expand their Project 100 Food Program utilizing ARPA funding to support residents in need.

During the holidays, NHBW was able to:

  • Serve Thanksgiving holiday baskets to 320 families, veterans, and homebound individuals.
  • Serve 88 seniors through a partnership with the Northern Illinois RX Program for seniors, which helps those who suffer from diabetes and other diet-related illnesses obtain free, health-smart food (such as lean meat and fresh produce).
  • Serve Christmas holiday baskets to 312 families, veterans and homebound individuals.
For more information and updates on future events, please click below.

Pajama Praise

Pajama Praise’s Drive Thru Project continues to utilize ARPA funding to strive to alleviate hunger to those in need. Despite rain, cold and windy weather, the Pajama Praise staff and volunteers welcomed the opportunity to share hot meals and non-perishable items for its Drive Thru Project on December 16th and 17th. This distribution served 142 residents who were unhoused, living outdoors, displaced, or in need of food. Pajama Praise’s hot meal menu consisted of meat, proteins, vegetables, and grains, along with holiday cupcakes and snacks.

The Drive Tru Project was able to serve food in four Joliet locations. Funds received from the ARPA grant were used to acquire food and supplies. Pajama Praise donated socks and gloves, wrapped in holiday wrapping paper. This supported Pajama Praise’s goal to continue to alleviate the hunger epidemic.

For more information and updates on future events, please click below.

New Hope Christian
Community Church

New Hope Christian Community Church’s utilized ARPA funding to expand options and availability in their pantry, offering fresh produce and dairy to the community and delivering to seniors.

ARPA funding helped New Hope expand their food services by providing:

  • An upgraded kitchen with a commercial fridge and freezer,
  • Modern kitchen equipment for washing and packaging fresh produce
  • Purchasing a van and supplies to deliver food to seniors and those who are shut in.

The expanded pantry is open once a month serving over 100 families on the first Monday of each month (with the exception of Monday holidays) from 4-6pm.  Volunteers deliver pantry products to seniors the same day/week and as requested during the week, while supplies last.

For more information and updates on future events, please click below.

Illinois Partners in Hope

Illinois Partners in Hope received an ARPA grant for a new box truck, which was critical for continued operations at a time when the demand for food assistance has rapidly grown. The new truck has supported the distribution of donated goods to partner pantries throughout the county.

The food programs managed by Illinois Partners in Hope would not have been able to continue without a reliable vehicle. The new truck allows thousands of Will County residents to be fed each month!