For 10 years, the Aurora Area Interfaith Holiday Food Drive has provided food to struggling families in our community. Since its inception, Prisco’s has been a supporting sponsor of this critically important food drive and as always we will be a primary donation point for the program.
The drive traditionally runs from the beginning of November through the day before Thanksgiving. This year Thanksgiving comes early, so the 10th Holiday Food Drive will begin November 1st and run through November 22nd, meaning it will be shorter by a few days.
"The goal is to get a year's worth of food," said Marilyn Weisner, Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry executive director. "The good thing about the food drive is it gives us good, solid staples." That means things like macaroni and cheese, rice, cooking oil, peanut butter, canned soup, canned tuna, and cereal.
One thing that has not changed much is the need. Weisner said some 6,500 families come to the pantry each year. The pantry distributes about 3.7 million pounds of food to about 23,000 people a year. "Aurora is a successful town, but there are still 29,000 people or so living in poverty," she said. "We have to meet the needs of those people. No one should go hungry."
Weisner pointed out that the pantry often deals with people who are newly poor or temporarily without work. So people come to the pantry for a while, then find work and drop off the rolls. In the meantime, new people come onto the pantry's list. She said the pantry distributes about $115 worth of food to a family in a week. That is money the family can save to use on other items, such as utilities, rent, clothes for children, or even to keep a car maintained so a family member can get to work. "We get people who we give food to, they get back up on their feet and become donors," she said. "It happens all the time."
To enhance the offerings for our neighbors in need this year, in addition to the usual premade bags of food available for purchase and to donate, our customers will also be offered the opportunity to buy food drive certificates. The cash from these certificates will be used to purchase the exact items most needed throughout the year.
As we head into this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday season, most of us have a great deal to be grateful for and this food drive is one way of giving back to our community and helping those who have been a bit less fortunate. On behalf of our family and employees, I’d like to thank you in advance for your generous support of the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry Drive.