State lawmakers are saying yes to a new program that will help keep local grocery stores afloat. The house and senate have passed legislation that provides grants to new or current grocery stores in high-need areas. People must be able to access healthy food says Representative Maurice West of Rockford.

“The east side of my community, which is the haves, has grocery stores up the wazoo, while the west side of the community, which is the have-nots, has no grocery stores and they have to rely on convenience stores where they can get Snicker bars and Hot Cheetos and call that dinner.”

The grant program is an initiative of Governor JB Pritzker’s who is expected to sign the bill into law.

***Courtesy of the Illinois Department of Central Management Services***