Winnebago Community Market

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 14 miles on Wednesdays, 1:00-3:00 PM and 4:00-6:00 PM

FAQ

WCM is held at Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Northwest Center, at 765 Research Pkwy in Rockford, off Kishwaukee near the airport.

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.

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.

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.

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.

You can shop once a week during any of the four days we are open for shopping. (See days and hours above.)

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.

Yes, having a job or any income does not prevent you from shopping our food pantry.

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.

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.

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.)

Route 15/Kishwaukee. Research and Kishwaukee Stop.

If there are barriers set out to designate a gathering area, please join the gathering area. Otherwise, please wait by the front door.

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.

No, please bring your own shopping bags or boxes to pack your groceries in.

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.

Yes, you may shop as a Proxy. (See previous question for requirements.)

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.

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.

No. See previous questions about documentation needed to shop.

Volunteer at Winnebago Community Market

We are always in need of volunteers to help us sort, pack and distribute to our neighbors in order for them to thrive.