SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois has received $17.5 million in federal grants to place more than 1,600 people in communities statewide as part of the AmeriCorps service program.

Serve Illinois announced the funding Tuesday. It’s the largest award Illinois has received in the program’s 24-year history.

AmeriCorps members will be tutoring at-risk youth, feeding people in need, supporting veterans and helping communities prepare to respond to emergencies, among other activities.

Scott McFarland is executive director of Serve Illinois, a commission appointed by the governor and administered by the Illinois Department of Public health.

McFarland says the program’s growth is “a testament to the hard work our AmeriCorps members perform each day.”

Members receive a living allowance, health insurance and may qualify for up to $5,815 to help pay for college.

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