Visit Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Northwest Center and Winnebago Community Market food pantry— 765 Research Parkway, Rockford, IL 61109— and take home a variety of nutritious foods.
We also need volunteers to help us sort, pack and distribute food for our neighbors in need.
We are located at:
765 Research Parkway
Rockford, IL 61109
(Next to Comcast)
We offer 3 different ways to shop for free groceries each week:
• Indoor shopping inside of our market on Thursdays and Fridays, 1:00-7:00 PM
• Drive-up and volunteers will load groceries into your car on Saturdays, 9:00-11:30 AM
• Free home delivery to those within 10 miles on Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00 PM and 4:00-6:00 PM
To order for home delivery, please fill out this form.
Winnebago Community Market
Regular Shopping Hours & Home Delivery Hours
• Wednesdays: 1:00 PM–3:00 PM & 4:00 – 6:00 PM– free home delivery during these times only
• Thursdays: 1:00 PM–7:00 PM– indoor shopping
• Fridays: 1:00 PM–7:00 PM– indoor shopping
• Saturdays: 9:00 AM–11:30 AM– drive-up
For information, call (815)639-1257 ext. 555.
We offer several volunteer opportunities to help your Rockford neighbors in need:
• Sort and pack food in our Rockford distribution center.
• Sort and shelve food in our Winnebago Community Market food pantry.
• Distribute food in our parking lot.
• Distribute food at our Mobile Markets in the Rockford area
• Perform general office tasks – phone calling & data entry
Volunteer Shift Hours
• Tuesdays: 9:00 AM–11:00 AM
1:00 PM–3:00 PM stock the shelves
• Wednesdays: 9:00 AM–11:00 AM food sorting & packing
• Wednesdays: 12:30 PM–3:00 PM
3:30 PM–6:00 PM grocery distribution *
• Thursdays: 9:00 AM–11:00 AM stock the shelves
12:30 PM–4:00 PM- grocery distribution *
4:00 PM–7:00 PM indoor shopping
• Fridays: 9:00 AM–11:00 AM stock the shelves
12:30 PM–4:00 PM- grocery distribution *
4:00 PM–7:00 PM– indoor shopping
• Saturdays: 8:30 AM–12:00 PM drive-up *
* Indicates volunteers will be required to work outside during this distribution
Action Matters Most. Learn ways to help raise awareness about hunger in our community here.
Where should I park?
Parking is available in the Food Bank lot on a first come, first-served basis. If the lot is full, please park on the street on the side opposite of our building. Please do not park in any neighboring businesses or block their entrances.
Do I need to come early and get in line?
No, you do not need to come early to get in line. In fact, you will wait less and still get the same amount of food if you come an hour into the distribution. (See above for market hours.) If you arrive before the market opens, the first 75 households in line must participate in a lottery for a number and are not guaranteed early entrance into the market. We cannot let you in the building early for any reason, including to use the bathroom.
I am disabled, can I come early?
No, but if you wait and come later into the time we are open, you will be able to come right inside and will not have to wait in line outside.
What’s a household?
We define a household as a group of people who live in the same place and share food. If you live in the same place and do not share food, you are separate household.
How often can I shop at the WCM?
You can shop once a week during any of the four days we are open for shopping. (See days and hours above.)
Can I shop if I have SNAP (Link Card or formerly known as Food Stamps)?
Yes, having SNAP (a LINK card or formerly known as Food Stamps) or any other benefits does not prevent you from shopping at any food pantry.
Can I shop if I have a job?
Yes, having a job or any income does not prevent you from shopping our food pantry.
Can I make an appointment?
The appointments are currently full and the waiting list is temporarily closed. If you already joined the waiting list, we will call you when your name gets to the top. If you already have an appointment, the time slot is yours until you give it up or you “no-show” twice.
Can I volunteer and still shop?
Yes, but a WCM Supervisor must schedule your volunteer hours. Please speak to one of the Supervisors when you come to shop. If you sign up online without Supervisor approval, you will not be guaranteed to shop on the day you sign up to volunteer.
Can I shop at other food pantries as well as the WCM?
Yes, each pantry has their own policies on how often you can shop and what documentation you need to bring. (See below for information about what you need in order to shop at the WCM.)
What bus route/stop is it?
Route 15/Kishwaukee. Research and Kishwaukee Stop.
Where do I wait if I take the bus?
If there are barriers set out to designate a gathering area, please join the gathering area. Otherwise, please wait by the front door.
Is there a limit on how much food I can shop for?
We are a client choice pantry, which means you can shop for as much food as you need for your household that week. There are certain items that may have limits, and we ask that you abide by those. Otherwise, you may take what you need for that week.
I live outside of Winnebago County. Am I able to shop at the WCM?
Yes. You can also click here to find the closest food pantry to where you live.
Do you provide bags or boxes?
No, please bring your own shopping bags or boxes to pack your groceries in.
I can’t get to your Center to get food. Can someone shop for me (as a Proxy)?
Yes. The person shopping for you will need to submit paperwork for you and must bring a copy of your ID and the signed EFP Proxy form (see below for EFP information) every time they shop for you. They can bring a photocopy of your ID or a photo of it on their phone. Your proxy can pick up all of the paperwork at the WCM.
Can I shop for another person?
Yes, you may shop as a Proxy. (See previous question for requirements.)
Do I need to bring proof of income to shop or use services?
WCM is a Federal Emergency Food Program (EFP) site. By shopping here you are self-attesting that you meet the income guidelines. You do not need to provide any proof of income.
What documentation do I need to shop?
We only need to see ID for the head of household (the person who comes to shop most often). If you don’t have ID, we will take anything you can provide with your name on it, such as a piece of mail or a library card. It is okay if your ID is expired. We do not need address verification.
Do I have to be 18 to shop at the WCM?
No. See previous questions about documentation needed to shop.