CHICAGO (WMBD)– Governor JB Pritzker signed Senate Bill 850 into law on Friday, establishing the Illinois Grocery Initiative.

A Governor’s Office press release confirms the initiative will address food deserts across Illinois by supporting existing grocers and encouraging new grocery store openings through incentives.

In addition, grocery stores receiving grants as part of the program will be designated as “High Impact” businesses providing tax credit opportunities.

“The Illinois Grocery Initiative is the latest expansion of our holistic approach to ensuring Illinois families can reach the big building blocks of a good life,” said Governor JB Pritzker.

He continued, “When our residents struggle to keep a roof over their head, can’t put food on the table, or have to choose between paying for basic medical care and keeping the lights on—that’s a failure of the system.”

Both Peoria and McLean County contain food deserts per Capital News Illinois.

In total, $20 million will be invested in the program. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will also commission a study to better understand food deserts and food insecurity in Illinois. This includes analyzing market declines, and historical disparities for food access.