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Rep. Kelly presents $850,000 in federal funding to Respond Now

On Saturday, March 23, Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill), was joined by Cook County Commissioners Donna Miller and Monica Gordon, when she presented Respond Now with a ceremonial check for $850,000. Respond Now, based in Chicago Heights, works to alleviate hunger and prevent homelessness for the most at-risk. It serves 12,000 clients annually in Chicago’s South Suburbs.

Kelly, who represents Homewood and Flossmoor in Congress, secured this federal funding through the Community Project Funding process in FY2024 appropriations legislation. The $850,000 will go toward Respond Now’s planned Food Pantry Expansion Project, which is designed to give their clients a supermarket experience.

The press conference also marked the 14th anniversary of the signing of the Affordable Care Act, which extended health coverage to tens of millions of Americans. Kelly’s visit highlighted Respond Now’s critical health access work and emphasized the importance of healthy food to overall health.

“Respond Now’s efforts to expand their food pantry into a shopping market experience represents a bold step forward to address the root causes of hunger and food insecurity. I’m proud to bring $850,000 in federal funding back to our community to support our neighbors and expand opportunities for families to thrive,” Kelly said.


“The funding being received, thanks to the hard work of Rep. Kelly and her office, will be transformative in the way food pantry services are delivered for people in the Southland. Respond Now is dedicated to offering services with dignity and respect,” said Carl Wolf, executive director of Respond Now.

“The development of our food pantry into a supermarket style model, a development made possible by this funding, will continue to advance our work in this regard,” Wolf said. “Just as any one of us goes to the supermarket and inspects the labels, picks up the fruit and compares nutritional values, the people who utilize food pantries should be afforded that same opportunity. It’s not only a question of dignity and respect, but a question of empowerment, and allowing people to make choices that best meet their lifestyle needs.”

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