Mobile Food Pantry in Roscoe: free food for neighbors in need


Volunteers handed out groceries at Roscoe United Methodist Church on July 20.

Northern Illinois Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry came to the parking lot of Roscoe United Methodist Church on July 20 to distribute nutritious food free to neighbors in need. Due to COVID-19, Mobile Pantry distributions have moved to a contactless drive-thru model, with pre-packed boxes of groceries, similar to the way free meals are handed out in plastic grocery bags at Roscoe Middle School each Monday and Thursday this summer.

Compared to some other parts of Winnebago County, Roscoe is relatively prosperous. But even though the 2019 poverty rate in the Village of Roscoe was only 4%, that still meant that 420 residents were living in poverty. 7.32% are on Medicaid, 8.55% are on Medicare, 3.34% have no medical insurance.

At Roscoe United Methodist Church, a line of about six volunteers, mostly gray-haired, each put a box or bag of food into the trunk of the neighbor's waiting car. Donations included canned goods, fresh produce, milk, and frozen meat. No ID, proof of address or income was required but one volunteer placed a white mark on the windshield. It was first-come, first served, while supplies lasted, but the event was scheduled from 3:30 m.-5:00 p.m. 

Other organizations in Roscoe have also been operating food pantries. Life Church's food pantry is closed for renovations, but is expected to reopen on August 20. New Life Tabernacle, conveniently located (depending how you look at it) behind the Whiffletree Tavern, offers a food pantry on Wednesdays, generally from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. 

In Rockton, Old Stone Church has provided food for residents of nearby communities for more than 25 years. They are open Thursday mornings. Harrison Bible Baptist Church offers food by appointment. The next Mobile Food Pantry in the Stateline area is scheduled for Wednesday, August 4 at St. Peter's Church in South Beloit, but the church's food pantry is open each Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Each of these local food pantries accept donations, and you can also send money to the Northern Illinois Food Bank, located at 765 Research Parkway in Rockford.

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