YWCA Northwestern Illinois has created a Winnebago County Restaurant Workers’ Relief Fund to assist those that did or continue to work in the restaurant and food services industry in Winnebago County. Due to a large number of applications requiring a waiting list for some, members of the community have come forward to raise money to contribute to the fund in order to help as many as possible. As funds are raised, the wait list applications will be reviewed. If funds allow, the application process will reopen. To donate to the fund, click here

You may also mail gifts to:

YWCA Northwestern Illinois
Attn: Restaurant Workers’ Relief Fund
4990 East State Street
Rockford, IL  61108

Questions? [email protected] OR Fund Development and Marketing office (815) 968-9681, Ext 308


At this time, APPLICATIONS ARE STILL CLOSED. If re-opened, YWCA Northwestern Illinois will accept applications from individuals that are unemployed, underemployed or have experienced loss of wages in the restaurant industry due to COVID-19. Those interested will need to complete an online application. Applicants will be contacted by YWCA and will need to pick up gifts at the YWCA offices in Rockford during business hours.

The application is available to anyone in the restaurant, food service or hospitality industry in Winnebago County experiencing loss of employment, underemployment, or economic hardship caused by COVID-19. Restaurant and food service workers have experienced and continue to experience a disproportionate loss of employment and/or income due to COVID-19. Local estimates are that more than 1,600 people from those industries have had their employment reduced or eliminated and this issue continues. The resulting challenges include, but are not limited to, the inability to pay for rent and utilities, medical bills from testing positive for COVID-19, lack of insurance, inability to pay for necessary medications and medical supplies, and the need for mental health services.

• How will you qualify clients/participants?

Participants qualify through an application process on a first come, first served numbering system.

The application is designed to capture the following information:

o Current income level

o Unemployed/underemployed

o # of family members & children in household

o Direct impacts of COVID

o COVID assistance ineligibility

o Access to health care