What We Do

The Aurora Food Pantry is committed to providing nutritious food relief to the community in a humanitarian and compassionate manner. When surveyed, 99% of clients reported that they were satisfied with the food they received and 93% reported that the food helped their families improve their overall health.

Food distribution Programs

Weekly Distributions – We believe access to fresh, nutritious food is everyone’s right.  While most pantries allow clients to visit every other week or once a month, clients may visit Aurora Food Pantry once every week. That way, if an unexpected need arises, no one has to wait for food. Learn More.

Pantry To-Go – Many clients have struggled with health issues or a positive COVID diagnosis that rendered them unable to visit for a period of time.  This program is designed to help get a small box of food to supplement clients who are unable to come to the pantry. Learn More.

Hesed House LIGHTHouse Pop-up Pantries – Aurora Food Pantry partners with the  Hesed House LIGHTHouse program to provide food to residents that have transitioned out of Hesed House to apartments at two locations in Aurora.  This pop-up occurs once each week.

 

Kids’ Pop-Up Pantries – Aurora Food Pantry, in collaboration with Calvary Church of Naperville & Blessings in A Backpack, hosts a biweekly Kids’ Pop-up Pantry. These Pop-ups are scheduled throughout the five counties that we serve twice a month.  Those counties include Kane, Kendall, DeKalb, DuPage & Will.  Each pop-up is prepared to serve 200 families on a first come first serve basis.  Items distributed include family and child-friendly foods along with items such as toilet paper when available.

 

Senior & Low Income Pop-Up Pantries – Aurora Food Pantry partners with Calvary Church of Naperville to host pop-up pantries at senior living facilities, supportive living facilities, and low-income apartment complexes throughout the surrounding area.  These pop-ups are specifically designed to help support those residents either on a fixed income or extremely low income.  Items distributed include fresh produce and other healthy items.

Veterans Pantries – Hunger can affect anyone, including our nation’s veterans.  According to the National Veterans Foundation, 1.5 million veterans live in poverty.  Each year, around Veterans Day in November, we host a special food distribution just for veterans. Learn more.

Women’s Empowerment Pop-up Pantry – Monthly pop-up pantries throughout our community will provide menstrual hygiene products, diapers, wipes, women-focused food and snacks, general hygiene products.  The goal for these targeted pantries is to give real, practical help to women and teenage girls by supplying basic everyday necessities.

FOOD RESCUE

Food waste is a huge problem in the United States. According to the Department of Agriculture, 33 million tons of perfectly edible food ends up in landfills each year – that’s 40% of all the food produced in the United States!

To help correct this unsustainable situation, Aurora Food Pantry has greatly expanded its food rescue operation over the last several years. Each week, we make more than 40 trips to retrieve this perfectly edible food, donated by grocery stores, food wholesalers, and local farmers. The items we get through food rescue are mostly fresh foods that we don’t receive through traditional food drives, such as meat, dairy, eggs, produce and bread.

Today, food rescue makes up over half the food we distribute. These foods are among the most nutrient-dense and costly to consumers. Therefore, we are not only providing healthy options for our clients, but helping them stretch their budgets as well.

Client Choice

At Aurora Food Pantry, clients select the food that best meets their needs.  Modeled after a typical grocery store experience, clients take a cart and go up and down the aisles, selecting items. The number of items a client receives is determined by the size of their family and the stock available.  By offering choice, less food goes to waste, clients can better plan meals for their families’ needs, and we are able to serve our community with dignity and compassion.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Aurora Food Pantry is currently serving prepackaged boxes to maintain a safe environment for our clients and volunteers.  These boxes include frozen meat, fresh produce, dairy and other shelf-stable food items.  We look forward to reopening our grocery shopping area indoors and have spent this time improving the space for a better client experience. 

Community Partnerships

Hunger is but one aspect of poverty. Therefore, we proudly partner with a wide variety of community organizations that are on-site several times a month to help enrich and improve the lives of our clients.  Currently, we do not have programming inside the building, but these relationships remain.  We look forward to resuming our outreach programming as soon as possible.

  • Aunt Martha’s
  • Communities In Schools of Aurora
  • Northern Illinois Food Bank (SNAP outreach)
  • Presence Mercy Medical
  • Rush Copley Medical Center
  • SPARK Aurora Early Childhood Collaboration
  • University of Illinois Extension Service
  • VNA Health Care
  • BMO Harris
  • LightHouse Community
  • Two Rivers Head Start
  • Aurora Rapid Response Team