Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

United Way of Rockford has partnered with Top Box Foods to increase access to healthy and affordable food in two Rockford neighborhoods.


‘Food insecure’ areas can get fresh foods

United Way of Rock River Valley partnered with Top Box Foods to increase access to healthy and affordable food in two local neighborhood food deserts.

The Chicago-based nonprofit group will provide boxes of quality farm-fresh fruits and vegetable and delicious fresh-frozen meats at discounted prices over the next three months at two United Way Strong Neighborhoods Houses.

This is Top Box Foods’ first venture in Rockford-area, which operates locations throughout Cook County and Lake County, and is open to the entire public. SwedishAmerican Health System will provide support of the Top Box Foods program for the initial month.

Access to quality food sources have diminished for residents living near the Strong Neighborhoods

Houses at 908 8th Avenue and 1233 Revell Avenue due to the vacant Highlander store on Rural Street and recent fire devastation of El Olivo Grocery on Seventh Street.

Top Box Foods specifically focuses its work in food deserts and closely works with suppliers to purchase foods at reasonable costs. Bundled in boxes, fresh fruits and vegetable and frozen meats, poultry, and fish are then available for purchase by residents at up to 40 percent less than retail. Food items include apples, berries, tomatoes, chicken breasts, shrimp and sirloin steaks. Cash, credit card and Link Card are accepted.

The Top Box Foods distribution center in Rockford is part of United Way’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, which dramatically improves the quality of life for children and families in two of the region’s most challenged neighborhoods. Through neighborhood engagement discussions, United Way discovered how constraints related to limited income, time and distance make it difficult for residents to access healthier foods.

Distributions are scheduled for Sept 16 and Oct. 21 at 908 8th Avenue, Rockford, Ill.: 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. and 1233 Revell Avenue, Rockford, Ill.: 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Small Business Workshop offered at public library

 Thinking of starting a small business? Have you already started and realize that you may have missed a few things?

The Village of Pecatonica Economic Development Committee is hosting a small business workshop titled First Steps in Your New Business on Wednesday, Sept. 20.  The workshop will be held at the Pecatonica Public Library, 400 W. 11th Street from 6:30-8 pm. 

Bo Boger, Director of the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Rockford Chamber of Commerce/NIU Eigerlab, will facilitate the program, which will take a 360 degree view of a business concept and discuss the steps to a successful start. Workshop participants will learn about a number of topics, which range from the feasibility of the business idea, business planning, learning about state and local rules, regulations, and licensing requirements.

By attending the workshop, potential entrepreneurs will become familiar with what is offered through the Small Business Development Center and will also be able to schedule a follow up appointment to focus on the needs of their planned business.

The workshop is offered at no cost, and pre-registration is suggested by not required. Registration can be completed by calling the Village of Pecatonica office at 815-239-2310 or through the Rockford Chamber of Commerce’s website at under the Event Registration tab.


–Winnebago County News Briefs–