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Illinois officials are announcing efforts to make locally grown food more readily available.

Warren Ribley is director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. He announced a program Thursday to help communities and businesses develop "food hubs."

Food hubs are places for processing and distributing food so local farmers may market their products to larger customers such as schools and government agencies.

The commerce agency, the state Agriculture Department, FamilyFarmed.org and the University of Illinois' business innovation services unit have produced a guidebook called "Building Successful Food Hubs" which is available online from FamilyFarmed.org.

Ribley also announced a website to help farmers work with larger markets, which often have complex regulations.

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