SPRINGFIELD — Gov. JB Pritzker and his sister Penny Pritzker announced Tuesday that a private fund that was formed to provide relief to communities hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic will wind down its operations after making its fifth and final round of grants.
Gov. Pritzker named his sister, a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce in the Obama administration, to head up the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund in March, just days after issuing his first statewide stay-at-home order in the early days of the pandemic.
The fund has been operated by United Way of Illinois and the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations.
“And it answered the call when our state needed it most, and before the federal government had begun to help,” Gov. Pritzker said during a news conference in Chicago. “When the family bills couldn’t be paid, when people were trying to find connectivity for work and school, when pictures of empty grocery stores went viral on social media and paychecks were…