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Assistance programs Iroquois County and Watseka.

The main services in Iroquois County focus on offering free food along with minimal financial help for paying critical bills. Find where to get free food, rental or utility bill help, grant money and more in the Watseka region below. The funding for these programs will often originate from community action agencies as well as charities such as the Salvation Army, but several other non-profits may also provide help.

Apply for financial help or free items in Watseka IL and the county

Regional United Way provides referrals only. The number of assistance programs in Iroquois County is limited, and many of them are offered in other nearby towns, cities, or even counties. The agency will partner with the churches, charities, and government agencies in an effort to help refer Iroquois County to one time financial help. What may be provided, from referrals, is as follows.

  • Emergency rental assistance to stop evictions.
  • Information on job training, credit or debt reduction services and self-sufficiency in Iroquois County
  • Money for a portion of gas or heating bills.
  • Mental health services or free medical or dental care
  • Shelter and transitional housing in Iroquois County, including for veterans.
  • Other resources include lodging, a food pantry, and Christmas assistance programs.
  • For referrals and information, dial 1-888-865-9903.

East Central Illinois Community Action Agency – The non-profit has two locations in Iroquois County. They are as follows. There is a site at Gilman Family Center at 210 North Central (dial (815) 265-4685 or (800) 764-2555) as well as the Watseka Center at (217) 554-9110. More information is below, or read more on East Central Illinois Community Action Agency.

ECI offers cash grants from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The funds help with paying heating and utility bills, with a focus on summer and cold winter months. Iroquois County families can also learn about resources ranging from job placement to ESL classes, Head Start, and state benefits such as food stamps. Other aid is provided too, such as referrals to agencies that assist with deposits or that offer help with paying back rent.




Catholic Charities churches also help families, veterans, the poor, and veterans in Iroquois County among others. There is a mobile food pantry, elderly case management and budgeting support, financial for for bills or rent, and assistance for children or students. There is referrals, job programs, clothing, information on gasoline vouchers, and more. The faith based charity is for the poor and less fortunate. Continue with Iroquois and Kankakee County Catholic Charity programs.

Free food banks and pantries in Iroquois County

There are several places for low income families to turn to for groceries, hot meals, and even applications to SNAP food stamps or WIC. The pantries are there to help working poor residents and they can also help families that are facing a crisis. Whether it is a free box of food, holiday meal, clothes, or hygiene items, help is provided.

Sheldon Area Food Pantry – Families can visit at most once per month. It is at 107 N. 4th Street. Email is

First United Methodist Church – The food bank can be used every other month. Groceries, free infant formula, diapers, hygiene items, and more may be offered by the charity. The center is 301 S. 4th Street, Watseka, Illinois 60970, dial (815) 432-0122.

Agape Fellowship - God's Little – The charity (phone (815) 432-1182) has an emergency food pantry in Iroquois County. Location is 425 W. North Street in Watseka, Illinois.

Zion Lutheran Church (a.k.a. Clifton Community Food Bank) is at 101 N. Maple Street. Everything from food to paper goods, cleaning supplies, soap and more is available. The center is in Clifton, IL 60927. Dial (815) 694-2065 or (815) 697-2747 for information.

St. Paul's Lutheran Church - God's Food Pantry is at 116 N. Thomas Street, Gilman, IL 60938. Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, clothing, small toys, school supplies, and more is provided. Phone 815-265-4133





Martinton region – Address is 213 Thomas Street, Martinton, Illinois 60951. Charities have toilet paper, first aid supplies, laundry, soap, groceries, shampoo for the homeless, and other assistance.

There are several other free soup kitchens and food banks in the county. Get free groceries, applications to SNAP food stamps, meals and other aid. The case management services that are available will also direct the client to long term assistance. Click more information on free food pantries Iroquois County.

By Jon McNamara

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