History and Mission
The mission of Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry is to help end local hunger by ensuring that everyone has access to enough nourishing food, thereby helping our overall community stay healthy and productive.
Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry was founded in 1981. An economic downturn had led to a growing number of people seeking food assistance, often through local churches. Unable to accommodate the growing need, these churches worked with local leaders to help establish a larger community pantry to assist those struggling to make ends meet.
The collaboration of people of all faiths – and a desire to serve those in the city of Aurora and beyond – led to the forming of Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry.
For decades, the Pantry operated from offices shared with Hesed House, a local homeless shelter. With the need for basic services in Aurora growing substantially during the 2008 recession, it became evident that a larger space – both for food storage and grocery distribution – was needed.
With the support of the community, government agencies, and local foundations, Aurora Food Pantry moved to its present location in November 2013. The 18,000 sq. ft. space (six times larger than the previous site) radically improved the distribution process, with benefits including:
- Client-choice market with refrigerator cases and permanent shelving
- A comfortable, indoor client waiting room with children’s play area
- Large storage warehouse with docks for safely unloading deliveries
- Increased refrigerator and freezer space to store fresh foods
Today, Aurora Food Pantry is one of the largest food pantries in northern Illinois, distributing 3.5 million pounds of food each year to 23,000 unique individuals. With a staff of 10, a crew of over 500 volunteers, and countless community partners, Aurora Food Pantry is dedicated to ending hunger in the community by providing nutritious food in a humanitarian and compassionate manner.