“The pop-up pantries do much more than simply provide young women and mothers with a bag of necessities,” said Shannon Cameron, Executive Director, Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. “This assistance can be the life-changing help some of them need to propel themselves forward, get a new job, job training, education, and continued employment.”
The sobering reality when it comes to purchasing basic, everyday necessities, many women are not on a level playing field. According to a survey of 1,000 teen girls ages 13-19 by Harris Insights & Analytics, 20 percent (one in every five girls) cannot afford to purchase menstrual hygiene products. A quarter of those surveyed missed class or were absent from school solely because they didn’t have access to tampons or pads.
In another recent survey conducted by St. Louis University, nearly 50 percent of the women surveyed said they had to decide between food and period products due to financial difficulties. “These items provided through the pop-up pantries can be the difference between a teenage girl going to school or skipping, a single mother’s ability to go to work to support herself and her child or calling in sick, or a young woman being able to go to a job interview or having to cancel,” said Shannon. “With the odds overwhelmingly stacked against them, this grant from AWEF will make a significant difference in molding the future for hundreds of Aurora women.”
The Aurora Food Pantry is busy launching a marketing plan to ensure those women who can best benefit are aware of the scheduled pop-ups and their locations. The first pop-up will be on Thursday, October 21, from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at Family Focus, Aurora (550 Second Avenue in Aurora, IL). No registration is required, but supplies are limited.
Those interested in learning more about the Aurora Food Pantry Pop-Ups for Women or need assistance with registration, can phone Becky at 630-692-3067 or stop in at the 1110 Jericho Road location in Aurora.