Aurora community food drive still needs volunteers
By Steve Lord email@example.com November 15, 2012 3:00PM
Volunteers build boxes to be filled with donated food items during a warehouse sorting night for the Aurora area community food drive on Monday, November 12, 2012. Food donations are being collected through Thanksgiving. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 19, 2012 10:58AM
AURORA — It wasn’t like most Kiwanis Club meetings.
But the spirit and camaraderie was the same as more than 30 people affiliated with Kiwanis sorted through food donations stored at a West Side warehouse for Aurora’s Fifth Annual Holiday Food Drive.
The Kiwanians joined other volunteers to go through the food, sorting the pre-assembled bags that are purchased as part of the food drive. There were some other private food donations, too, said Cheryl Kessler of Dolan & Murphy in Aurora, who is charge of volunteers for the drive.
The food drive runs from Nov. 1 to the day before Thanksgiving as a way of restocking the shelves at the Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry.
One of the reasons sorting is time consuming — and takes a lot of volunteers — is that they check the expiration date of each item brought to the warehouse.
Kessler said compared to this time last year, the drive is running ahead.
That’s good, because the need for the food continues. Pantry officials have said they expect to distribute more than 2 million pounds of food by the end of this year. In 2011, the pantry distributed 1.5 million pounds.
Kessler said she still needs volunteers to hand out fliers at the four participating stores: Prisco’s Fine Foods, 1108 Prairie St., Aurora; Cermak Fresh Market, 1250 N. Lake St., Aurora; Jewel, 1157 N. Eola Road, Aurora; and Jewel, Route 30 and Douglas Road, Oswego.
Drive organizers have said when people pass out fliers to shoppers, which informs then the drive is going on, food drive purchases go way up.
“We need to really push this last week before Thanksgiving in order to make this the most successful food drive to date,” Kessler said.
Anyone interested in volunteering should call Kessler at 630-801-8800, ext. 109, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.