Between May and August, the pantry served 476,000 meals to community members.
AURORA, Colo – Food insecurity is a real problem in our communities and across the country.
The latest figures from Feeding America show that more than 40 million households were food unsafe in 2018. These numbers are expected to be significantly higher now during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have been following the mission of Aurora’s mobile pantry for the past few months, trying to address the food demand problem.
“It’s an understatement to say that people think of food insecurity, not their neighbors,” said Claudine McDonald, Aurora City’s community relations manager. “What we’re seeing here in Aurora is that more people are food.” more insecure than we actually thought. “
COVID-19 put a big exclamation mark on it. By partnering with multiple organizations, Aurora has provided community members with its mobile grocery pantry.
“From the first week we had 9,000 meals and in 30 minutes we ran out of groceries to what we’re doing now: 36,000 meals a week,” said McDonald.
As of May, organizers and volunteers have served well over 470,000 meals to more than 30,000 people.
“We saw more people, last week was our biggest turnout, we had 550 cars, but a lot of those cars are multiple families so they pick them up for their neighbor or a sick family member or their parents,” said McDonald.
Now the city is preparing for a new initiative called “Commitment to Care”. There are seven different programs aimed at children, seniors and families to meet the needs of the extremely diverse community.
PRE-COVERAGE: The Aurora Mobile Pantry serves hundreds every week
“It’s basically going to take Aurora’s mobile pantry and double as much food we get, but it’ll triple the number of homes we can serve,” said McDonald.
Commitment to nursing programs
- Aurora Day of Giving: A one day mobile distribution event where food and resources are available for 1,500 families. Other items are baby items (diapers, formula) and pet items (food, hygiene items). Drive through collection.
- Food for thought at SECORCares: Food distribution to 1,500 families in Aurora Public Schools and Cherry Creek School District, where children are sent home with groceries on Fridays to support their families over the weekend.
- Home for the holidays with the Salvation Army: Families are given a gift card to purchase groceries, toiletries, and other household items that is distributed in connection with the Salvation Army’s annual gift campaign.
- Pantry for Immigrants and Refugees at the Village Exchange Center: provides culturally relevant food, baby items and community resources to immigrants and refugees. Assistance for people with homelessness is also available. Roadside pickup and delivery.
- Neighbor to Neighbor at Dayton Street Opportunity Center: Local families and homeless people are provided with food and community resources. Pick-up and delivery at the roadside are possible.
- 18th District Court One Place Project, Special Victims Unit: Food and resource distribution event for victims of crime. Drive through collection.
- Senior Mobile Pop-Up Pantry hosted by SECORCares: Mobile food distribution event for seniors (55+). Pickup only.
McDonald said she felt humble to think about it, like the people who contributed to the program’s success.
“With $ 20,000 in seed money, we can distribute $ 1 million in inventory,” said McDonald. “I’m a screamer and it’s one of those things that hit you and our community and come together like I’m volunteering. People don’t have to do what they do, but everyone comes together and see that it really was awesome. “
Wednesday was the last day for the mobile pantry, but the new initiative will start in the last week of September.
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The city has just over $ 800,000 to help those in need with care obligations through the end of the year.
Below is an overview of the overall impact of the Aurora Mobile Food Pantry between May 20th and August 26th.
- Community members served: 30,200
- Meals served: approximately 476,000
- Total Food: Approximately 434,000
- Pounds of pet food distributed: 37,225
- Diapers and Formula Distributed: $ 47,000 worth
- Water bottles distributed: 5,415
- Library books distributed: 2,800
- PSA distributed: 3,000 masks
- Smart thermometers distributed: 500
- Volunteers: 761
- Volunteer hours: 3,044
- Total value of goods and services made available to the community: $ 1 million
To learn more about the programs, contact [email protected] or call 303-739-7281.
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