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.
Food for Thought – In the five counties we serve, nearly 40% of children are eligible for free/reduced price lunch at school. During the summertime, these kids are in danger of hunger and malnutrition. To close this gap, extra food is provided to families with children over the summer.
Senior Mobile Pantries – Senior citizens have special health and nutritional needs. Unfortunately, many are home-bound or have difficulty getting to the pantry. To ease this burden, we bring mobile pantries to low-income senior housing complexes. This allows seniors to choose the food that best meets their unique needs.
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. In 2021, we will be adding an additional food distribution, just for veterans, around Memorial Day. Learn more.
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.
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.
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