CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - August 27, 2015) - A grocery store leased and operated by Save-A-Lot food stores at 1701 West State Street in Rockford, IL -- the first one built and owned by Midwest nonprofit IFF -- will hold its grand opening on Thursday, August 27, at 9 a.m. In attendance to celebrate the Ellis Heights neighborhood store will be Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey, state Sen. Steve Stadelman, city and county officials, and other community leaders.

The $3 million project is one of six grocery stores that is being developed or financed by IFF through the Illinois Fresh Food Fund, a state initiative to increase access to fresh foods in underserved communities. The Fund launched in 2012 with $10 million in capital funds from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. IFF secured additional resources from banks, foundations, and other community development financial institutions to support implementation of the Fund, as well as from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative.

"With the new Ellis Heights Save-A-Lot, the West End of Rockford will have its first quality grocery store in 35 years -- ending a food desert that has lasted for a generation,"IFF CEO Joe Neri said. "This new store will be a hub for promoting good nutrition and better health, and serve as an anchor for additional investment in the community. Our thanks to the state for establishing the Illinois Fresh Food Fund, which has made this investment possible."

The full-service grocery store will carry fresh vegetables, fruits, and meats in an area of the city designated as a food desert by the federal government, as well as work with local groups to promote healthy eating habits in the community. Funding for the 15,000-square-foot space included $2.75 million from the Illinois Fresh Food Fund and $500,000 in tax increment financing from the city of Rockford.

"Save-A-Lot is committed to offering fresh produce, dairy, and USDA-inspected meat, as well as other essential grocery and household items to shoppers at an affordable price -- typically up to 40 percent less than traditional grocery stores," said Glenn Dickson, Save-A-Lot Midwest director of operations. "We look forward to welcoming shoppers to our newest Rockford location."

The new Rockford Save-A-Lot is part of IFF’s $13.5 million commitment to develop or finance grocery stores in six neighborhoods with low access to fresh foods, including:

  • $275,000 to purchase new equipment and fund leasehold improvements at the Save-A-Lot store at 10700 South Halsted Street in Roseland on Chicago’s south side
  • $3.32 million to help build a new Mariano’s Fresh Market at 39th Street and Martin Luther King Drive in Bronzeville on Chicago’s south side
  • $3.45 million to build and equip a new Save-A-Lot store at 561 South Lewis Street in north suburban Waukegan
  • $1.7 million to help build and equip a new Farm Fresh Market at 14710 South Dixie Highway in south suburban Harvey
  • $1.95 million to help build and equip a new Save-A-Lot store at 4 Vieux Carre in East St. Louis in the Metro East area of southern Illinois

Three of the Fund’s new grocery stores are now open for business (Rockford, Roseland, and East St. Louis), another two are under construction (Bronzeville and Waukegan), and the last one is expected to break ground at the end of this year (Harvey). When completed, the six grocery stores developed and financed through the Illinois Fresh Food Fund will yield $36 million in total community investment.

About IFF
IFF is a mission-driven lender, real estate consultant, and developer that helps communities thrive by creating opportunities for low-income populations and individuals with disabilities. From child care to senior housing, IFF works closely with clients from every sector, offering affordable, flexible financing; full-scale real estate consulting; and community development services. Since 1988, we have made over $536 million in loans, leveraged $1.9 billion in community investments, and grown our total managed assets to $371 million.

About Save-A-Lot Food Stores
Save-A-Lot, a wholly owned subsidiary of SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE: SVU), is headquartered in St. Louis and is one of the nation’s leading hard-discount, carefully selected assortment grocery chains, operating more than 1,300 stores in 37 states from Maine to California. Serving more than 5 million shoppers each week, Save-A-Lot offers savings of up to 40 percent on groceries when compared to conventional stores. Customers enjoy savings on exclusive Save-A-Lot brands and national brands, plus fresh meat and farm-fresh fruits, vegetables and dairy, along with the most popular grocery and household items. Save-A-Lot helps its customers live richer, fuller lives by saving them money and time through a smart, convenient shopping experience featuring great food, great prices and great people every day. For more information on Save-A-Lot or to locate a store, please visit

Contact Information:

Jose Cerda III