As inflation soars, there are places the needy can turn to for help – Shaw Local

Food prices continue to rise and the cost of gasoline remains north of $4.

Families and individuals who need help in these difficult financial times should know that there is help available for those who qualify.


The Illinois Department of Social Services operates two community resource centers for families in the area. There is one at 2605 Woodlawn Road in Sterling serving residents of Whiteside and Carroll counties and one at 1001 Pines Road in Oregon serving residents of Ogle and Lee counties.

IDHS can help people meet basic needs, including applications for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (better known as SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (or TANF), or women, infants and children (or WIC). Cash and medical assistance is also available for eligible applicants.

Most of these services – and instructions for applying – can be found at

SNAP recipients can use the benefits to purchase food. It can also be used to purchase seeds and plants for vegetable gardens.

WIC recipients receive a card that can be used for nutritional foods, such as fruits, vegetables, milk, juice, eggs, cheese, cereals, whole grains, beans, peas and cheese. peanut butter. There is also support for breastfeeding.

TANF can help pregnant women and families with dependent children obtain temporary cash for food, housing and utilities.

United Way

Each United Way local has specific programs tailored to their community. Summer food programs for children and teens can help families supplement their food budget.

In Lee County, for example, Summer Eats is offering free takeout meals on Wednesdays to children in Lee County through August 10 at Old Lincoln School, St. Paul’s Church, Wonderland in Bois, Dixon High School, Jefferson School, Washington School, and the Paw Paw Boys and Girls Club. Amboy, Dixon, Franklin Grove, and Paw Paw libraries are also pick-up locations.

In Whiteside County, its take-out meal program for children and teens runs through August 10 at Margaret Park in Eric, Fulton First Reformed Church, Milledgeville Public Library, Morrison Community Center, Eclipse Square in Prophetstown and Tampico Community Building. The same service is available in Rock Falls at Coloma Homes, Merrill School, the Public Library and Wallingford Park Shelter and in Sterling at Broadway Methodist, Latin American Social Club, Salvation Army, Scheid Park Shelter, St. Paul Lutheran, La library and Ster-Lynn Apartments.

Ogle County is associated with United Way of Rock River Valley and Carroll County is served by United Way of Northwest Illinois.

The primary point of contact for all United Way services is to dial 2-1-1 for assistance.

Tri-County Opportunity Council

TCOC serves individuals in Bureau, Carroll, La Salle, Lee, Marshall, Ogle, Putnam, Stark and Whiteside counties. will help individuals, families and communities who need help with stability and self-sufficiency. They can help cover heating costs through LIHEAP and rent assistance through its housing programs.


Individuals may also receive “last resort” assistance by contacting the Illinois township office in which they reside.

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