SHEFFIELD, IL (August 11, 2023) – Ameren Illinois donated $15,000 and provided energy savings incentives to help a rural community re-open a grocery store and give residents access to sustainable, local food options closer to home. The support was provided to Cornerstone Community Wellness, a nonprofit organization which launched a fundraising effort to acquire and re-model the Royal Super Mart building in Sheffield, Illinois.
Data suggests Sheffield residents spend approximately $2.5 million annually on groceries. Without a local store, community members would have to travel more than 10 miles for fresh food. The newly re-opened store offers keycard access, healthy prepared meals, and collaboration with local producers.
"Our core mission is to improve individual well-being, and that starts with a healthy community," said Elizabeth Pratt, Executive Director of Cornerstone Community Wellness. "We saw an opportunity to continue the legacy of Royal Super Mart and reimagine all the ways a rural grocery store can survive and thrive."
The Ameren funds were made available through the Ameren Cares program, which connects the company with the communities it serves through charitable giving and volunteering. In all, Cornerstone Community Wellness has raised more than $500,000 for the grocery store project.
"Thanks to Ameren Illinois, we obtained a new point of sale system and made other technology upgrades to the store, continued Pratt. "We also utilized their program incentives to install energy efficient lighting and a new HVAC system."
"Rural communities like Sheffield are the fabric of Downstate Illinois," said Brian Brackney, Regional Director of Electric Operations for Ameren Illinois. "I can't think of a better way to keep our region strong than by supporting an effort like this one. Elizabeth and her team deserve a lot of credit for developing innovative approach to improve the health and quality of life in their hometown."
About Ameren Illinois
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and more than 800,000 natural gas customers throughout central and southern Illinois. Our service territory covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles. Our mission is to power the quality of life. For more information, visit AmerenIllinois.com. Follow us on Twitter @AmerenIllinois and Facebook.